Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Best Thing Since Schoolhouse Rock

I've long believed that we desperately need high school civics classes to teach students how to be informed consumers of political ads. Americans should view all of them skeptically, asking who is paying for them, what their agenda might be, and checking the veracity of claims.

However, in this age of SuperPACS that sprout like dandelions and have misleading names, it can be difficult for even political junkies to keep track. 

Thanks to a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and a collaborative class project at MIT’s Media Lab, there is now an app for that.

The SuperPACApp works like Shazam; you let it listen to an ad, and it identifies the message and source, providing links to information about that SuperPAC and nonpartisan sources to factcheck the ad's claims.

The app is free, but it is not available for Android, more's the pity.

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