When Facebook and other social media came about, it was a momentous step forward in the world of communication. We as a global society were now more interconnected in ways no one could have previously imagined. The world wide web as bringing us together to share ideas, discuss local and world events, and look at cat pictures in a simplified, unprecedented way we could not have expected.
However, in recent years, these platforms have taken a more seedy, dark path.
Political information and memes have become more and more preposterous and false, targeting those who would share without inspecting the veracity of fact. The spoken and written word has become meaningless on these platforms, with all sides of a discussion dismissing the other as "fake news" should the content of a message not match a world view. Those looking to divide, those looking to eschew a perspective; hell, those looking for a good laugh at the expense of the less savvy began creating and spreading false-hoods, half-truths, and outright lies in the name of communicating and spreading a message, political or otherwise.
Sites such as Snopes, Politifact, FactCheck.org, Hoaxbusters (rest in peace) and other popped up as a means of combating such lies. Through a campaign of the same disinformation used in the creations of the lies, these sites were discredited and dismissed, providing no means of providing a singular, trustworthy source that fake news, memes, and other information could be summarily checked against. These various organizations have, with varying success, managed to maintain their credibility with their supporters, but still find themselves up against an onslaught of disinformation and attacks against their credibility, allowing for those who would find the information these sites confirm or dismiss, to disregard with a simple "fake news," or "<Site in question> has a <Liberal/Conservative> bias," or worse.
I seek to change the paradigm. Instead of making claims, attempting to use journalistic integrity to validate or debunk the claims, and then face the attack that the information provided has a bias, I wanted to take a different tack.
Putting up money instead.
Here at Debunkr, the process is simple: when I come across something that is in dispute, I'll simply offer it up to the community, with a bounty, to prove or disprove. When a claim is made, I offer a financial reward for finding proof to back that claim. Anyone can say anything; if you can prove with legal documents, video, audio, or written text verifiable from a legitimate source, the person or organization that proves this will get the funds. In exchange for the funds, I'll post the documents/media proving or disproving the facts in question.
Words are cheap. Money talks.