Understanding Bias in Open Source Investigation

Bias in research, journalism, investigation, means several things. However, more often than not, when investigating using open source techniques we are often subjected to specific types of bias. Investigators are often using specific tools, methods, and language, that help form our investigations and the type of information and/or evidence we interact with. Generally, we can divide this into cognitive and technical biases. The former relates to investigators approach or their methodology. For example, what language or key terms are they using to find their data. The latter refers to the tools used. For example, investigators should be aware that no search engine is neutral. Each has their own specific code and algorithm that may provide different results than others.

For more on this, check out Citizen Evidence’s Guide To Conducting Effective Online Inquiries (Part One).