On Tuesday The Washington Post launched the prototype of its new news app “Truth Teller,” which aims to fact check speeches in as close to real time as possible. The development of the app was made possible with funding from the Knight Foundation’s Prototype Fund and took three months to build.
The Post decided to build the app after the paper’s National Political Editor, Steven Ginsberg, heard a speech in 2011 by a politician, which repeatedly misled the audience. Ginsberg realized that no one noticed the errors in the speech and wondered if it would be possible to live fact-check politicians.
Cory Haik, The Washington Post’s Executive Producer for Digital News, said the paper is dedicated to fact checking and that the new app will help them do that.
The Post is dedicated to this project because we believe strongly that informing and educating the public is one of the most critical missions we can perform, particularly when it comes to our elected officials – regardless of their political affiliation. Amid the cacophony of an instant-news culture, identifying the truth is both harder and more important than ever. Facts themselves are increasingly under attack and falsehoods can easily and instantly find their way to a mass audience. In fact, many are designed to.
The app is a prototype and is still a work in progress. It currently only works on prerecorded video, though Haik hopes that it will be able to fact check streaming video in the future.
It’s good to know that the Post is committed to fact checking, but what they also need is an app to check the accuracy of what appears in their paper.
Check out “TruthTeller” here.