Thursday, August 25, 2011

Crowdsourced Fact Checking

NewsTrust on Fact-Checking and the Wisdom of Crowds
the Atlantic (Walter Frick)

[F]act-checking politicians heading into election season is akin to playing Whack-A-Mole. No matter how many claims these and other fact checkers beat back, new whoppers keep popping up.

But what if you could scale these laudable efforts by harnessing the wisdom of the crowds? That's what NewsTrust, a nonprofit news aggregator, set out to do when it piloted its collaborative fact-checking site in 2010. Now, just over a year later, NewsTrust is shifting its focus to devote more time and resources to that effort.

[Frick] spoke with NewsTrust executive director Fabrice Florin by email to learn more about how he and his team plan to leverage crowdsourcing to fact-check the 2012 elections. [full article]
. . . .

NewsTrust is now pivoting from a standalone news curation site to a consultancy that will serve the needs of larger partners and help their communities become better informed about important public issues. Our initial focus will be on fact-checking services to expose misinformation in the public debate. We will also explore partnerships that enable us to provide news literacy and civic engagement services through popular consumer and educational channels.

. . . .

For each claim we fact-check (example), our editors provide links to factual evidence supporting or opposing that claim. We then invite our community to review these links before giving a final answer. Participants can also add more links, as described in our pilot FAQ.

The purpose of this key feature is to encourage participants to base their answers on facts, not just their own opinions. Reviewing a variety of links about a claim can help you weigh the evidence from all angles and reach a more informed decision. We also think that getting citizens to reach beyond their comfort zone and regular news sources can help them develop a more open mind, build their research skills and appreciate the value of looking at the world from different perspectives.

You can read more about our approach and overall mission in this article from the Nieman Journalism Lab.
[full article]

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& flashback 2.2.2008

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