Judging Single Source Information


by Sam Culper III

I briefly took part in a discussion on WRSA a week or two ago about the topic of single source information.  Single source information, as opposed to multiple source information, is readily available but in many cases difficult to analyze or verify.  With multiple source information, the more people reporting the same information, the more indicators we have that the information is true, or is at least being reported accurately.  Specific pieces of nearly identical information that come from multiple sources corroborate themselves, so to speak.  If all four local news broadcasts say that a woman murdered her husband on 15th Ave last night, then I can make a snap judgement that it probably happened… or at least that all four news outlets are reporting accurately what they were told by police.  I have four corroborating sub-sources (news outlets) from the same source (police).

Single source information, on the other hand, comes from one source; it’s one guy or one news outlet reporting information that can’t be found anywhere else.  There’s likely to be limited to no availability of information to corroborate what our source is saying.  Similarly, there may be limited or no time with which we have to reach a decision based on that information.  This time-sensitive, single source information manifests itself in the real world through an anonymous tip that the suspect is in a white sub-compact headed north on Backalackadacka Street.  Or that the regime security forces regional-coordinator in charge of overseeing gun registration/confiscation is meeting with local leaders at city hall.  In some cases, we may have a very short window of opportunity to act.  If our assumption that the information is true, then how fast can we get a Pred to find and hit the car, or how fast can we mobilize local FreeFor security elements to disrupt the meeting?


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