Storyful’s interest in the story was journalistic – what could we find out about the victims, their families, or their captors through an analysis of open source material, in order to tell their stories.
The investigation posed a unique question – how could we link the women in the videos to Sweida, and could we contact them or their families?
The initial videos were released through reliable sources; however, they contained limited geographic information or other verifiable information.
This case study explores the process Storyful used to verify aspects of the story over a number of months. It sets out how Storyful established reliable sources who were disseminating the IS material for their own purposes; it explains how Storyful sourced the videos and verified the identity of the hostages by building corroborating information and leads over time.