Ideas for a fact checking widget

by Yoav Ravid1 min read18th Mar 20194 comments


Software ToolsWorld Optimization

Just had this idea, writing while I'm excited about it -

We all know the problem of fake new, of too much information to be checked - and that most people don't know how to do that, don't want to, or just don't have the time or energy.

And i can't blame them, it is hard. it's not like i fact-check everything i read.

so here's what i would like to see -

An embedded widget for news-sites, that automatically curates fact checking from many/all fact-checking websites. this is not a website or a browser extension that does it, but server-side. so everyone reading the article would see the fact checking results, and also see whether there's a consensus or a disagreement between the fact-checkers.

This will make people think critically about the things they read, and journalists at major news organizations would think twice before publishing.

And this isn't useful only for news outlets - this can also be used by social media (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit). If a post had any fact checking made on it, it'll have a small icon, which brings up a popup with the widget once clicked. truly, it can be used in any place which wants it's audience to think critically.

It can be done using a URL based approach, like the new dissenter extension. but how it is developed matters less, so i won't elaborate on that.

the main caveat is - most news outlets don't have an incentive to embed this widget unless many do and it becomes the norm (cause the credibility it gives them isn't worth the added effort). so you got a coordination problem.

but I'm optimistic. i know many news sources which i believe would like to become first adopters. and when you already have ~40 websites (plus all the fact checkers) it's easier to put pressure on larger outlets. until it's embedded at most places it should, and people become septic of those who don't embed it.

I'm not a developer but to me it doesn't seem very complicated to develop (correct me if I'm wrong). but i think it has great potential.

Please share your thoughts, and if you would be willing to help make this a reality in any way.