Real Time Political Fact Checking?

From the Washington Post comes an amazing prototype tool that aims to fact check political speaking REAL TIME. It’s called Truth Teller.

Truth Teller is a news application built by the Washington Post with funding from a Knight News Prototype grant. The goal of Truth Teller is to fact check speeches in as close to real time as possible. The three-month prototype built by the Post is an enormous step in that direction.

The genesis of Truth Teller was fairly well captured in this Poynter piece, which came out around the time the funding was announced. (One note: the politician mentioned was Michele Bachmann — a she, not a he.)

Steven Ginsberg saw the future of fact-checking while listening to a politician tell lies in Iowa last summer. “It was one of those small parking lot affairs outside a sports bar and the candidate was there speaking to about 30 people,” said Ginsberg, The Washington Post’s national political editor. ”For about 45 minutes he said a lot of things that I knew to not be true, and nobody else there knew that.” Ginsberg thought there must be a way to offer people in the crowd a real-time accounting of the politician’s misstatements. He called Cory Haik, the Post’s executive producer for digital news, and outlined the issue.

For the prototype, we focused on the looming debate over tax reform, both because of timing and its import for the country. The tax debate will play out over several months and naturally lends itself to deceit and deception — even more so than many policy discussions. We hope that our application will help direct the conversation toward the truth as it is happening so that Americans get a fair shot at deciding this critical issue.

The Truth Teller app follows the text of the speech and matches claims to various data bases.
The Truth Teller app follows the text of the speech and matches claims to various data bases.