bullshit clippy By the end of the year your browser could have a fact checker, just like your spell checker

A piece of software is currently under development which could revolutionise the web experience. MIT Grad student Dan Schultz hopes to have Truth Goggles released in all it’s open source glory by the end of 2012 and he’s already got Politifact on board to make sure the fact checker has a decent set of data to mine from the offset.

Politifact By the end of the year your browser could have a fact checker, just like your spell checker

An excerpt from today's Politifact stream

Truth Goggles isn’t the only horse in the race however, there is stiff competition from  a number of other groups and if yesterday’s proposal by the developers of “Lazy Truth”, following the Harvard-MIT Truthiness Conference is anything to go by, a major collaboration could be in the offing involving some of the following groups:

credibility apps By the end of the year your browser could have a fact checker, just like your spell checker
  • TruthGoggles – Automatic bullshit detector that highlights permutations of factual or inaccurate claims wherever you go online.
  • LazyTruth – A gadget for your email inbox, which automatically surfaces pre-existing factual information when you receive misleading viral email forwards.
  • FactSpreaders – A volunteer corps of people working to amplify facts in the fact of misinformation, as well as a tool to crowdsource the matching of myths and debunks.
  • Spundge – A startup building research and contextual tools for news organizations, which could ensure reporters have access to higher quality information before a story is even published.
  • MediaBugs – A service for correcting errors in media coverage after the fact.
  • Hypothes.is – Peer review for the internet.
  • Swiftriver – An interface that allows you to assign credibility weighting to incoming sources in a realtime environment with streams of social media and other sources. Part of the Ushahidi platform.
  • Truthy – A research project studying how memes, and astroturf campaigns in particular, spread online. (My blog post on Truthy Canadian healthcare zanaflex sales)
It’s not clear yet whether a collaboration will be forthcoming so all of the above projects are doubtless worth keeping a close eye on. If you follow the blog I’ll be sure to keep you posted on developments. This is something I’d absolutely love to test drive at the earliest opportunity (wink wink nudge nudge).

Via NiemanLab

Update (09/03/2012 19:09): RbutR, a browser plugin that promises to deliver rebuttals to online articles as you read them, has coincidentally today entered public beta testing. This is not the same as the proposed fact checker but it looks like a pretty awesome project along similar lines.

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  • Neuro Skeptic

    This is the kind of thing that will probably be great in, like, 5 years, but will be pretty rough around the edges at first. So I think I will wait a while.

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