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Crowdsourcing political debates, speeches, advertisements etc

Piling on Jim’s recent post about Web sites pushing for transparency, my buddy Howard just tweeted about a new site called Speechology — “User-powered analysis of political debates, speeches and campaign ads.” The developers got a minigrant from Sunlight Foundation in order to build a site that would archive political speeches/advertisements etc so that the public could then crowdsource (aka collaboratively fact-check) and discuss them. Nicely done!

While watching the countless debates of the 2007-2008 primary season, we noticed a trend: Moderator asks politician a question, politician dodges the question and instead uses the time to rehash his/her platform, moderator thanks politician and moves on to next question. In other cases, the candidates on stage would go back and forth, unequivocally contradicting one another on points of fact. The moderator–a journalist–simply moved on, leaving voters in the dark as to the truth.

The ads on television were no different: quotes taken out of context, completely unchecked accusations, citations in miniscule type…All of these political videos left us wondering who was right, and who was lying.

We created Speechology so that we don’t have to wonder anymore. Speechology is an archive of videos that show politicians stumping for your vote. If a candidate said it on TV, we want you to be able to find it on here.

But instead of just showing you the video, we invite you to do your own research and then tell the rest of us what you found. Speechology is a place that does not care what your political preferences are. We only care if you contribute good research. If you would like to argue over politics, go somewhere else. Here, we value facts.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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