A look at anonymous sources.

View the Project on GitHub


Grapevine seeks to examine the use of anonymous sourcing in the news. The project is still in early stages.

So far, I’ve implemented a Chrome extension that “blacks out” chunks of text referencing anonymous sources and then highlights the text if the user hovers over the redaction. The aesthetic borrows from the FOIA art produced on the regular by U.S. government agencies. It’s not yet available in the Chrome Web Store, but it is available here.

Ultimately, I’d like this project to include data about anonymous sourcing across as many news sites as possible. I’m thinking some sort of scraper + elasticsearch combo?

This project was inspired, in part, by Mark Schaver’s Anonymous project (which is no longer live, it seems). I also very recently discovered Gregor Aisch created a similar Chrome extension…two years ago!

Taking a note from Mr. Aisch, I will also say that feedback is very welcome. There are a thousand ways to improve this, and I’d love your help! Reach me here: