Following the news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is difficult, especially if you’re not already extremely knowledgeable about the situation. Turning to Twitter may be the automatic reaction, but it’s not necessarily that helpful: The non-chronological-by-default timeline means news is presented out of order (here’s how you can fix that, if you’d like). Opinions outweigh people reporting from the ground. On Wednesday, many Twitter users posting video from Ukraine — including large accounts like @Conflicts — found their accounts suspended or locked, a move Twitter says was an error.
In moments like this, “Twitter’s strength as an amplification and recommendation platform goes away,” said Jeremy Littau, associate professor of journalism and communication at Lehigh University. “It’s not that the news coverage isn’t there, it’s that the ability to find it is harder. I’ve got a mix of expertise and hot takes from sudden experts and people posting with the Ukrainian flag. It’s a lot, and in these moments I think we have trouble sifting through that volume of information.”
We pulled together a few resources to help you receive reliable information on what is happening. This list will be updated.
A few people have compiled Twitter lists of folks to follow. Still, a caution: “Don’t necessarily trust your in-network amplifiers. Other folks are moving fast and maybe not vetting so well,” Kate Starbird, associate professor of human centered design and engineering at the University of Washington, tweeted. “Mistakes happen. Don’t let their mistake be your mistake and cascade through your network.” (For instance.)
From CNN reporter Daniel Dale:
Here’s a partial list of reporters on the ground and others who know what they’re talking about. https://t.co/jcixvK2O13
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) February 24, 2022
From Josh Marshall, editor and publisher of Talking Points Memo:
If you’re interested, I’ve created this list of journalists, diplomats, heads of state and commentators to follow developments in the Ukraine crisis. https://t.co/ByuyGFTpkz
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) February 23, 2022
From Rebecca Shabad, congressional reporter for NBC News:
I made a list of sources — journalists, officials, experts — on Ukraine and Russia to follow the latest. You can follow here: https://t.co/Sg518W7juN
— Rebecca Shabad (@RebeccaShabad) February 22, 2022
Jane Lytvynenko, a senior research fellow at the Technology and Social Change Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center, is originally from Ukraine. She wrote for The Atlantic about watching a Reuters livestream of Kyiv’s Maidan Square.
The stream of Maidan is different from all the noise. Nothing’s fake here; there’s no algorithm; and once I hide the live chat, there isn’t even a conversation to parse. It’s not a green screen against which TV pundits discuss Russia’s next move. The livestream is not trying to convince me of anything; it’s just showing me things as they are.
Fact-checking and debunking
The international investigative journalism collective Bellingcat is maintaining a fact-checking spreadsheet of dubious and debunked claims from the Ukraine frontlines, noting, “Many of the more dramatic claims aired by Russian state media or pro-separatist channels of Ukrainian aggression in recent days appear to have little truth to them. On the contrary, some videos appear to be flagrant attempts at disinformation.”
In recent weeks, some Russian state media outlets have featured misleading headlines about international support for Ukraine based solely on user comments on Western media sites.
One article published on the website of the state news agency RIA Novosti in late January claimed that “British” readers of the Daily Express supported the view that Ukraine should not be defended because Russia had a stronger military presence in the region than NATO.
Another suggested that readers laughed at Ukraine’s military potential.
There have also been concerns that pro-Kremlin trolls, using fake accounts, have targeted British and other foreign media sites, to advance Russian interests.
Research by Cardiff University’s Crime and Security Research Institute from last year found that the comment sections of 32 prominent media websites across 16 countries, including the Daily Express, had been targeted by pro-Kremlin trolls.
According to researchers, their anti-Western and pro-Russian comments were then used as the basis for news stories in Russian-language media.
Sadly, the first example (and several more in the thread below), are from news media organizations with considerable reach online and off-. https://t.co/CnHBZkbcPE
— Rasmus Kleis Nielsen (@rasmus_kleis) February 24, 2022
tiktok live warning lots of livestreams might seem to be in Ukraine but are actually in Russia, randomly Kazakhstan in one, or somewhere else – some aren’t actively pretending but users are so eager for content they just sit and watch, not understanding the language 1/
— SophiA Smith Galer (@sophiasgaler) February 24, 2022
Here is a list of Telegram channels spreading Russia propaganda right now. Don’t believe anything they say. Telegram also has a “report” button. https://t.co/2yeJBCL7Zd
— Jane Lytvynenko (@JaneLytv) February 24, 2022
Datawrapper’s Lisa Charlotte Muth has a thread of maps from graphics reporters.
— Lisa Charlotte Muth (@lisacmuth) February 24, 2022
Liveblogs and dropped paywalls
The Financial Times has dropped its paywall on war coverage.
This post will be updated. Let us know if you have suggestions for things to add.