From A Closer Look On Syria
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  • Inside the Conspiracy Theory That Turned Syria's First Responders Into Terrorists - Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, April 30, 2017
  • How the alt-right brought #SyriaHoax to America - @DFRLab (Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab), April 8, 2017
  • Introducing the First Draft Coalition , published on June 18, 2015 on the same web site, founded by Ev Williams, formerly Blogger and Twitter man
    First Draft Coalition is a group of thought leaders and pioneers in social media journalism who are coming together to help you answer these questions, through training and analysis of eyewitness media. Our founding members, from different organisations and projects, are each dedicated to raising awareness and improving standards around the use of content sourced from the social web. They are Bellingcat, Eyewitness Media Hub, Emergent, Meedan,, Storyful and Verification Junkie...With the support of Google News Lab, we’re getting straight to work on developing a new destination website that will feature essential training materials, plus a database of case studies, resources and tools.



For U.S. mainstream journalists and government analysts, their erroneous “groupthinks” often have a shady accomplice called “confirmation bias,” that is, the expectation that some “enemy” must be guilty and thus the tendency to twist any fact in that direction.
We have seen this pair contribute to fallacious reasoning more and more in recent years as the mainstream U.S. media and the U.S. government approach international conflicts as if the “pro-U.S. side” is surely innocent and the “anti-U.S. side” is presumed guilty.
The trend also requires insulting any Western journalist or analyst who deviates from the groupthinks or questions the confirmation bias. The dissidents are called “stooges”; “apologists”; “conspiracy theorists”; or “purveyors of fake news.” It doesn’t really matter how reasonable the doubts are. The mocking insults carry the day.
  • 'White Helmets'. Little facts or insight or sourcing above, mostly name calling. Covered by us elsewhere, with a lot of factual insight due to Vanessa Beeley, who is there on the ground. --We are not on the ground, and info needs to come from somewhere (+ pass available to us checks). Few points:
    • Funding. Here is Beeley claim, said to be from official sources (though not made explicit, unfortunately). It includes video where Boris Jonson says: we are giving them (White Helmets) £32 million of funding, as part of a wider £65 million package for NON-humanitarian aid
    • There is government Civil Defense ('Red Helmets', 113 phone number in Syria) which is not 'White Helmets'. It is not clear (at least) who saved how many, and at least 'White Helmets' claims should not be just taken at face value as they operate only on, and for, one side of the conflict. More links making the government-leaning case, showing, at the least, that another civil defence really exists (though all/most web links lead to White Helmets): EXCLUSIVE: The REAL Syria Civil Defence Exposes Fake ‘White Helmets’ as Terrorist-Linked Imposters, September 23 2016;Award Given by REAL Syria Civil Defence Recognising Work of Vanessa Beeley, 21st Century Wire, April 25, 2017