Thwink.org has a research project underway called Politician Truth Ratings. This uses the Truth Ratings System to write articles whose main claim has a calculated truth confidence level. This ranges from zero to 100% and is based on a formal argument leading to the claim.
For example, the WikiTribune article on Update to EU copyright law could ‘destroy internet as we know it,’ say campaigners makes the claim that “The update to EU copyright law could destroy the internet as we know it.” But how true is that claim? Present approaches use intuition to arrive at a level of truth. But an article written using the Truth Ratings System uses Structured Argument Analysis to determine the truth in an objective efficient manner.
These are big technical-sounding terms, but don’t worry. The process is simple once you understand how to use the tool.
Here is the project page. This offers an introduction to the project. The tool allows users to more rapidly and accurately produce fact-checks, which we call claim-checks. Watch the two videos to gain some serious understanding on what the project is doing and how to use the tool.
Here is the working prototype. It currently runs ONLY on the Chrome browser on windows, a real problem but it’s the best we can go for now. This week we reached the point where the tool works reliably to produce claim-checks, though on a limited basis using a simulated database. How to use the tool is fully explained in Help.
Click on Reusable Claims. Then click on the “US losing one bank or credit union a day” article. This is an example of a claim-check article that was produced by starting with a fact-check article. Hopefully it will demonstrate in a clear manner what the potential of the tool is.
For another example click on “The False Dilemma that Took a Country to a False War.” This is an example of a claim-check article written from scratch.
We have a long way to go before the tool can be used on a multi-user basis for articles anywhere, such as here. But I wanted to initiate discussion now, to see what the level of interest is.
One of the goals of WikiTribune is “We want to make sure that you read fact-based articles that have a real impact in both local and global events. And that stories can be easily verified and improved.” Love it! That’s a goal I can agree with totally!
Now imagine if every article that revolved around a central claim had a Truth Rating. It would have a graphic similar to the one shown, but would say “Article Truth Rating” or “Claim Check Rating.” Then, all of a sudden, that article is not just fact-based. It has a known level of truth. That would maximize its impact in local and national events, because unlike most articles, this one is obviously trustworthy to the level shown on the dial. That will probably be pretty accurate, because the author will be striving for as truthful an article as realistically possible.