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Can the crowd keep politicians honest?

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Can the crowd keep politicians honest?

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As election season heats up in Britain, you can rest assured that politicians of all persuasions will be flooding the media with information to try and get us to put a cross in their box.

Of course, politicians aren’t exactly renowned as being the most reliable of people, so how can you know that what you’re hearing is fact rather than fiction?

We’ve seen the crowd deployed to try and resolve these kind of issues in other fields.  For instance, towards the end of last year, researchers proposed a gamified approach to crowd-verifying research.

Grasswire is a similar project but is deploying the crowd to verify that the news is factual and accurate.

It is very much in this vein that a new service has launched to try and help verify the claims made by politicians this election season.

Full Fact is hoping to do a similar thing with the upcoming UK elections.  The site was set up by a charity of the same name to check over the stats and figures that are bandied about by politicians.

The aim is to provide an impartial and non-partisan service that people can rely on for obtaining truthful information about the various claims made.

To ensure that they provide as strong a service as possible during the election period, they’re currently looking for some additional finance via Crowdfunder.

The campaign is aiming to raise £40,000 to help finance their army of volunteers, and the daily expenses that come with doing the job.

The plan is to work from 6am in the morning to midnight each day to ensure as comprehensive a coverage as possible.

The site has been running since 2010, with a number of substantial organizations offering help in verifying many of the claims made by politicians and journalists.

The likes of The Health Foundation and The Migration Observatory have all been used to support (or not) claims made, with all findings published on the site along with references used.

Of course, the site only becomes truly useful if it becomes so well known that they put politicians off from spouting rubbish in the first place.  Hopefully that may be the case for the upcoming election.

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