It’s not possible to have all the answers but it is possible—even essential—to have all the available facts.
A new web application, designed to tackle misinformation through crowdsourced facts and community moderation, has been launched this week by a former Facebook employee. This comes in the lead up to Brexit talks and the US elections.
The app, òtító, wants to use the Internet’s hive mind to crowdsource facts on a massive scale and weed out information that is definitively proven to be false. But, there’s a twist: users send signals about how accurate they find each other’s contributions, without knowing anyone’s identity. This influences which contributions show up on the app as reliable.
òtító also adopts a novel design based on segmenting articles into individual claims submitted by researchers, writers and users. It then gives users the ability to add sources supporting claims and vote on the quality of sources. The company refers to this approach as “information atomisation”.
AI research bots are employed in the background, to support the discovery of facts and new information, especially in the event of breaking news. These algorithms are able to scour the Internet, gathering research or data on a chosen topic. These are then added on òtító as claims, which users can moderate.
Fact-checking websites have to wait until someone says something inaccurate before countering. òtító’s approach is more proactive—its body of facts is always growing because users are always contributing new information, independently of the news cycle. This community model creates a database of facts that can be searched by anyone (including journalists and political organisations) and is ever-evolving.
Timi Olotu, founder of òtító and a former Facebook marketer says, “One of the biggest problems with misinformation is that many of us characterise it as ‘one’ problem—it's actually many distinct problems, manifesting at the same point of failure. Misinformation rides the wave of crowd momentum, so the fight against it should also harness the immeasurable power that people generate when they come together. The responsibility to resolve these dysfunctions doesn’t sit with any one person or organisation. It sits with all of us—we're all the heroes we seek. And with Brexit and the 2020 US presidential elections coming up, this fight will need all the heroes it can get.”
He explains that his experiences growing up in a tribalistic political environment in Nigeria (a situation often fuelled by misinformation), before seeing the same pattern emerge in the UK and US, motivated him to find a way of using group dynamics and the hive mind for good.
“ It’s not possible to have all the answers but it is possible—even essential—to have all the available facts. ”
You can access and use for free the fact crowdsourcing app, òtító, by visiting www.otito.io
òtító is the new media format and fact crowdsourcing app that empowers you to fight misinformation and fake news, while accessing reliable content on important topics.
Name: Timi Olotu
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