beta 1

What's true? What's false? Check it!

For feedback of all sorts, please get in touch with us at Suggestions for new ideas and approaches for this site will be warmly appreciated.

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What is checkit?

checkit is an experiment to see if we can find neat ways of collating knowledge to establish whether statements posted on the internet are true or false. We'd like to pool the knowledge of users. The core idea is pretty basic for now:

What's the point?

Ah, glad you asked! Well, to be honest we're not yet sure what we can do with this. (It's just an experiment, remember.) But have you heard of "fake news". Or the "post-truth society". Or "health scares". There are lots of propositions out there for which it would be helpful to have some indication of likely accuracy, validity or veracity. Can an online community help with this problem? Let's find out.

Guidance with ...

... investigations

Users can post topics for investigation. First try the search bar on the home page to see if it's already been requested. The minimum information to start an investigation consists of a quote from a webpage and the URL. If we can find the quote on the page then we'll add the investigation to our list. The idea is to find quotes that capture the essence of a subject that is uncertain. This will rarely be a question and will usually be a concrete statement about the world. You can add some notes if that helps to explain what you're trying to find out.

So what merits investigation? That's up to you really. Some subjects will be relatively clear cut matters of factual accuracy. But do we need to constrain our experiment to fact checking? Equally users can post subjects relating to scientific breakthroughs (or false positives). Perhaps someone out there can assess the plausibility of the findings. Other subjects again could relate to political philosophy. Subjects need not be easy or necessarily obviously possible to determine in any way.

This checkit beta is barely a first version. In the fullness of time much will develop and we'll provide some more guidance...

... reviews

Any user can post a review on any investigation. Perhaps in time we'll see who's good at reviewing certain topics. For now, please feel free to review any subject that interests you. After you've posted your review, you can see all of other reviews posted by other users. Part of your review can be commentary describing your thoughts about the subject. We will also need a quantitative rating for the subject from you. 100% would indicate a statement that was definitely entirely true. -100% would indicate something definitely entirely false - the opposite of truth and actively misleading. A banal, nonsensical statement that is effectively neither true nor false scores 0%. You can also score 0% to register "don't know". Perhaps once you've seen other reviews you'll change your mind. You can post multiple reviews on the same investigation if you like.

Perhaps in some way the aggregate results of many reviews can be processed to give a superior view of the validity of some information. Perhaps we'll be able to spot reviewers who are experts in certain areas. For now checkit really is just an experiment but there are many directions in which this idea could be taken.

Again, in the fullness of time we'll have more guidance around reviewing. For the time being, let's see how if you can make sense of the site in its current form.

About the team

checkit is a project run by two friends, Joel and Ben. We're interested in current affairs and data science. checkit seems a fun project to have a shot at in some elusive spare time. If we hit on any good ways of reviewing the accuracy of the press and other internet content, then pehaps down the line it might make sense to share some more information. If so, we'd probably be needing some additional members for the team! Let's see how we get on.