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The Rumor-Mill Speak Truth to Power.......and Live to Tell the Tale.

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Presentation on theme: "The Rumor-Mill Speak Truth to Power.......and Live to Tell the Tale."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Rumor-Mill Speak Truth to Power and Live to Tell the Tale

2 What is the Rumor-Mill? Website (www.rumor-mill.org) where people post, view, opinionate and vote on current rumorswww.rumor-mill.org Place where conspiracies, deception and lies are exposed and discussed by anonymous users who are ranked by their credibility and reliability Countervailing Power that disciplines Dark Forces and empowers People Source of gossip A righteous tool to strike back at injustice

3 What Does the Rumor-Mill Do? Lowers the costs of whistle-blowing Increases the flow of secret, confidential, embarrassing and/or scandalous information to the Public Rewards accuracy and punishes lies Empowers ethical behavior Weakens abuse and manipulation of power

4 What is a Rumor? True but not generally known, e.g., a 2005 rumor: “Rep. Foley has sexual relations with Congressional Pages” Gossip that may or may not be true, e.g., “The CIA knew where Osama bin Laden was in October 2001” NOT a prediction, e.g., “Cheney will die in 2007”

5 How Does the Rumor-Mill Work? 1.A user anonymously posts a rumor. 2.A moderator approves the rumor based on objective formatting guidelines. Rejected rumors are visible to all. 3.Others vote (Yes/No) and comment on the rumor. Votes do not determine truth. 4.When objective evidence emerges, users nominate the rumor for “judgment”, i.e., for a moderator to label it True or False. 5.Confirmed rumors increase points for the poster and “yes” voters, who feel good. ☻

6 How to Protect Anonymity? Minimal Data: Random ID (e.g., “ ”) and password only. Our end: No cookies, IP-trace or logs Middle: Encryption (SSL) User end: Danger!. From public areas, dark-net (TOR), in-browser technology, etc.

7 How Do “Points” Work? When a rumor is declared “true”, the poster receives 100 points. “Yes” voters receive 1 point. “No” voters lose 1 point. If it is declared “false”, the poster loses 50 points. “No” voters receive 1 point; “Yes” voters lose 1 point. If “No” voters outnumber “Yes” voters, and the rumor is true, points are doubled for all – as a reward for contrarian success. Points create reputation – anonymously. The vote-leader is called “Deep Throat”.

8 What about Liars? A Liar (posting a false rumor) will get attention at first and lose it when her score goes negative – and keeps going negative Voters with bad judgment will sink in the same way Observers will be able to filter out the rumors and opinions of people with low points

9 How Will It Evolve? 1.At first, it will be hard to tell the difference between good and bad rumors 2.As reputations are made (among posters and viewers), sorting rumors will be easier 3.Categories are added as the number of rumors increases 4.The more intense the examination of the rumor, the faster it is shown to be true/false

10 Next Steps... Now: Beta 0.8, non-profit (CA & Fed) Next: Beta 0.9 (live); looking for moral, promotional, financial & legal partners Future: Beta 1.0; recruit moderators; build self-reinforcing majority voting system; port to Spanish, etc.


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