How often have we wondered, whilst watching the political ads that pervade every possible individual domain, how much of what the politicians are saying is true and how much of it is stage-managed election rhetoric?
How our hearts have craved for a device that could assess for us the veracity of the wild claims. Who are the people behind these ads and can we take these leaders at face value or are the ads misleading the public?
Incredible though it may sound, a new iPhone appliance to be released today will do just that for us. It’s called the Super Pac App and it’s designed to give the American voter, the truth behind the political ads that will help him or her make the right voting choices.
The appliance has been created by Jennifer Hollett and Dan Siegel. The former is a recent graduate of Harvard Kennedy School, whilst the latter is a graduate of MIT Sloan School of Management. The idea took birth out of a collaborative class project at MIT’s Media Lab in February, earlier this year. From an early semester class project it has taken a giant leap to become the ‘Super PAC App’ making its debut on the national stage.
The appliance takes revolutionary audio recognition technology that is provided by TuneSat, its partnering company, picking up audio waves from the political ad to be monitored. It then matches the audio waves against a database, similarly in the manner that, Shazam matches music.
The app will discover the cost of the ad and who are the people behind the ad. It will also allow the viewers to rate the ad and also check the claims made in the ad for their veracity and authenticity, based on information provided by third party nonpartisan sources.
The app on its own does not check the facts, but accumulates information garnered from different fact-checking sources, including Politifact and FactCheck.org. for the user to make his own judgments.
This appliance is especially significant considering that it is being launched in the election year. Super PACs, are allowed to raise and spend huge sums of money to seek support for candidates of their preference. It is estimated that till date, more than $320 million have already been raised by the 800 Super PACs.
Hollett said that the app will make the average voter feel more familiar and conversant with what is going on. Siegel said that the app was meant to empower the voter to decide for himself what is true and what is not.
The app, available free of charge on the ITunes store, thanks to a generous grant by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, will hopefully make the politicians a little more wary about airing misleading and untruthful ads. It will also help the voters to become more informed and engaged in the democratic process.
“With TV advertising consuming a significant amount of the resources we spend on selecting our leaders, it’s important to the future of our democracy that Americans can transparently view who funds these messages,” said Michael Maness, vice president for journalism and media innovation at Knight Foundation.
Siegel says that he wants to use this appliance for political elections in countries other than America and in future use it on use it on product commercials, as well.
He says the ad will help the voter make sense of the huge amount of ads he is being assailed with.New iPhone App To Morally Police Political Ads: Will Tell If They Are Speaking The Truth by Harrison Barnes