Political Ads Apps… Fact Check This Please!

With the impending elections only a few months out, the onslaught of commercials has begun. From “America the Beautiful” to “Wasteful Spending”, both sides are already making negative statements about the other. Without significant background knowledge to provide context for these commercials, the half-truths and partial quotes create an environment where it is easy to become misinformed. As the elections draw closer, PAC and Super PAC commercials will add to the confusion and misinformation.

With that in mind, two new applications are being launched that may help viewers understand the context of the commercials being aired. “AdHawk” and “Super PAC App” both operate through audio-fingerprinting technology; the application picks up the audio to determine what commercial is airing. These applications will then provide users with the name of the organization that funded the ad, how much money they have raised to support a candidate or issue, and the main claims made by the commercial. They will also provide a basic fact checking service that links through to non-partisan sources that analyze the claims.

Their hope is to go beyond users who are already inclined to research advertisements on their own. With the ability to quickly find information using a smart phone developers hope to tap into a wider audience base, the end goal being a more informed electorate. For those of us without DVR, it might make the inevitable political commercial inundation more bearable.

For more information, check out: http://techpresident.com/news/22590/real-time-transparency-televised-political-ads-therell-be-app-two-actually#

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Peter Sperry

Kind of interesting that both apps appear sponsored by an organization with very close ties to one of the major candidates. Who is checking the fact checkers?