Using in-line keyword marketing for political fact-checking.

The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friendly Fact Checking.

One of the main problems this election is fact-checking the hyperbole and outright lies of the candidates (mainly Trump). Responsible organizations provide their own fact-checking as part of the article write-up (or as a sidebar information) — but this relies on the writer and staff to work this into the article and have the copy-length fluidity to do so. Secondly, it should also lead users to assume some natural bias on the part of the organization.

Third-party organizations, such as PolitiFact, provide a valuable service to allow for people to fact check their politicians. There’s just a couple of problems:

  1. It requires the reader to separate the act of reading any article or transcript, put aside claims, and research them later. It breaks the narrative flow of what they’re reading, or puts the burden of research on them.
  2. It requires them to know about a third-party service, such as PolitiFact — and not inadvertently fall into a biased echo-chamber trap of research and confirmation bias.

Fortunately, there’s already a platform for a solution in place, thanks to everyone’s least favorite thing — web advertising. Even better, every news organization is already set up in some fashion to handle advertising. It’s also a horrid platform that no one enjoys: advertising platforms and solutions such as Vibrant Media. You know, the green double-underline links that show stupid popups.

Vibrant’s inText solution. You know it. You hate it.

Here’s what I propose:

“EME” Friendly In-line fact checking.

Using an ad platform back-end, any claims by politicians can be keyword scrubbed by this technology (the claims would need to be ostensibly written as such or somewhat standardized), allowing for users of whichever platform to hover (or touch, or whatever) to see what a third-party says about the claim, on page.

An example of in-line marketing being used for good. (Copy via CNN)

A repository can be added that would allow for users to jump to related content that also references the same claim on either the same site or by other sites — and see political leanings.

And just to incentivize everyone — leave a little space for an ad.

The cross-industry support and ad leverage creates a de facto standard that can be recognized and create universal behavioral learning, while also easing some of the burden on newsrooms and news organizations.

Ideally, this leads to a smarter electorate. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Like what you read? Give Dustin Davis a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.