Truth Googles as a Tool Towards Political Digital Literacy

One of the points we repeatedly drive home at CiviliNation is the need for individuals to have strong digital literacy skills. People should learn how to critically analyze online information, measure its accuracy, correctly identify the author(s), understand and be able to identify bias, and recognize how information is disseminated.

Especially in the online realm, it’s far too easy to make outlandish claims cloaked as truth. This isn’t only a problem manifested on private blogs, it’s a problem that’s found on news sites as well. We were therefore excited to read a Nieman Journalism Lab post about the work of Dan Schultz, a Research Assistant at MIT Media Lab.

Partnering with the 2009 Pulitzer Prize winning PolitiFact, a site whose aim is to “help you find the truth in politics,” Schultz created software that automatically flags suspicious statements in news articles.

I’m very interested in looking at ways to trigger people’s critical abilities so they think a little bit harder about what they’re reading…before adopting it into their worldview….I want to bridge the gap between the corpus of facts and the actual media consumption experience.

Schultz’s Truth Goggles are a critical step in the fact-checking arsenal and one we’ll be watching with great interest.