Better news is a software platform for crowd-sourcing our news in a new and revolutionary way. The mission is to create a platform where we, the people, can document what is happening around us. And while doing it, have fun and do something to improve our world by improving the quality and reliability of news. A graphical explanation of how it will work is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qc210vDuuw&feature=youtu.be and is recommended for a better understanding of the project.
And how is this connected to democracy? Democracy is a collective method that we use to make decisions, preferably with strong representation. It’s not designed as a way to reach the best decisions but as a way to govern ourselves. When done well the wisdom of the crowds is a very good method to make decisions. And how do we make good decisions?
Good decisions in democracy need good information, a healthy debate and fair processes. We are and have been creating new ways to improve our democracy but without good information it will not do much good and possibly bad.
Without good data collective intelligence easily becomes collective stupidity. Brexit and Trump are only two recent results of democracy being manipulated by bad information but there are many more, Hungary and Poland fx. We have seen that our society and our democracy are very vulnerable to misleading information, we must fix this if we are to even maintain our current level of democracy.
Our news are broken. Fake news, manipulation, fear tactics, censoring, filter bubbles etc. obscure the truth, our media is biased and our news are skewed. We need news we can trust, our news. We need Better News. It will be a news community based on trust with strong social and financial rewards, a positively addictive crowd-sourced news game.
We are designing a platform for news of the people, by the people, for the people. Our news will be ranked by trust, relevance and quality with content from both people on the spot as well as specialists. Trust levels and peer grading affect the weight of users submissions so that if you have a history of being truthful and honest (according to user ratings) your contributions will have stronger weight than of those that have been found to be not as reliable.
Better News will be our social news center where the community adds, rates and fact-checks items to improve our news in a live collaboration. Our algorithms, peer ratings and gaming elements will prompt us towards honesty and quality work. We will be reporting on what we care about, local to world, almost all news are local to somewhere and almost if not always connected to people.
Better news will quickly take on the role of our old local papers as the need is still there but is being very badly fulfilled today. Facebook is mostly used for this today but it’s a very bad news platform, for many reasons. Everything that matters to us will find its niche in Better news, from environmental issues to local surroundings to lost cats.
It is very clear that current media is in no way capable of dealing with its shortcomings, it is stuck in many levels of quicksand which it can not escape out of. Of course traditional media will continue to exist and hopefully improve itself but there are no signs that we will be able to trust it to give us true and accurate news, none of the current models can support this.
So, once again, we need to take things into our own hands and create our own Better news.