Commenting on the American electorate, Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling said, “the first lesson you learn as a pollster is that people are stupid.” Harsh words, and as the corresponding article points out, unfortunately “irrationality on policy issues transcends party lines.” Of course, the broader recognition is that flawed thinking and reasoning aren’t limited just to one particular country, culture or issue – if anything, it can be argued that they’re endemic to humans in general.
Yet knowing how to separate fact from fiction is a skill that everyone in today’s modern society needs to learn.
- Truth Goggles, software that automatically flags suspicious statements in news articles (we covered it in a previous post);
- MediaBugs, a neutral, civil, and moderated discussion space that brings together journalists and members of the public who report errors and problems in media coverage, and also tracks data on errors and corrections for public use.
- Truthy, an Indiana University research project that analyzes tweets to determine how memes spread online and whose goal is also to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution.”
- hypothes.is, an early-stage distributed, open-source platform that will enable sentence-level critique of online written words combined with a community peer-review process.
All of them are worth checking out!