An open-source news platform for summarized and scored article search and collaborative research
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J. NikolaOct 18, 2021
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All people read the news sometimes. Sometimes it's interesting, sometimes knowledgeful and sometimes it's just fun. But what's great is that we all read the same stories and perceive them from our own standing point/perspective.
What if we integrated all news channels into an open-source platform for collaborative news scanning, sorting, scoring, and summarization?
A new source of collected, validated, and open-to-research news that would replace today's "read-only" standard.
Why would we do this?
There are numerous problems with today's news that could be solved with this platform:
we don't know how true/biased is the information
we don't know which news to read because there is just too much
articles are just too long and full of (un)necessary details
I enjoy the article but would like to know more about the topic - where to start?
I understand/personally know the subject and would like to help by contributing
I want to play a detective and track a certain topic through period of time, but can't keep track
With this platform, we could make news more straightforward, unbiased, connected in terms of time, place and context and more interesting for everyone. The community would benefit by better understanding the news, easier cause&consequence detection and a possibility of earlier intervention. The news would become the input, not only the output and we could do all kinds of statistics on any data from e.g. fashion, art, finance or global warming.
Collect the data. One team would focus on previous data and organize it in categories, add keywords, etc. The other team would learn how to collect real-time news, update the old versions and generally be "up-to-a-second".
Summarize the data. Same articles would obviously be analyzed multiple times, since many newspapers publish the same article on a single topic. Based on the similarities and differences between the articles, article on a single topic would be summarized to represent the most unbiased piece of text on a topic. The user would have an additional feature to turn off the "sum" function and see the vast amount of information collected from all the sources on a single topic.
Score the data. If the summarized article shares many facts with the articles it has been generated from, it would be marked as highly consistent and probably true. If, on the other hand, one article stands out with the amount and the specificity of data on a single topic, it would be marked as non consistent and questionable, until further checked. Similar score would be given to a news sources. Scoring would be done dynamically and repeatedly, so the news stay up-to-date and represent the current state of knowledge on a subject.
Connect the data. This is the part where the collaborative effort would be needed in order to draw connections on a similar/distant topics. Platform could use kind of an article linking method seen on heritage trees, where multiple connections could be drawn between members of the tree. That way, data would be organized in time, representing not only the up-to-date news on a topic, but also a wider context, time-period and connection with other topics.
Explore and contribute. The result of a step 4 would be the open-source up-to-date summarized and scored news platform with tons of statistics. Any enthusiast, amateur or a professional, could export data and analyze it the way how it wants. People could finally use the news to find new patterns of behaviour, help solving crimes or predict future problems.
The session fits good in the context of this one, and would bring us closer to this, too.
The danger of having a centralized, massively used platform
Povilas SOct 19, 2021
I like the idea, just want to point out that if such platform became nr. one news source for most people (similarly to how Facebook is nr. one social media platform for most people) there would surely be efforts from interested parties to manipulate the data on the website in a way that the outcome would benefit those parties similarly to how Cambridge Analytica used Facebook data to influence the outcome of a few major political elections.
Even though having only decentralized (scattered) news sources is bad on one hand, since it's difficult to test the level of bias on an individual source without first comparing many different sources together (which takes a lot of work and therefore isn't something an average reader would do), on the other hand, it's more difficult to manipulate the influence that such news sources do to the readers, because different people choose different sources, they can choose to read lesser-known alternatives, etc.
Currently, each country/region has its popular news source(s) that most people read. The platform that you propose would likely be international, so if it was convenient and successful, people would gradually turn to reading mainly on that platform and it might become like Facebook for world news. It would be much easier for people with power to manipulate one massive platform and get a desired global outcome than to manipulate many separate smaller sources and get the same massive outcome.
Please leave the feedback on this idea
Gamifiying the news
J. NikolaOct 18, 2021
For those who read the news just for fun, this approach could make news even more interesting. Imagine having lots of interesting data (clues :D) about a specific topic that doesn't take much time to read, is validated, and can be explored and reanalyzed. I smell a lot of new Sherlock's coming out of the shadows!
To make it fun and meaningful, a community of contributors could be formed. Contributors could be awarded for their efforts by receiving badges, crypto, or any other awards. Data could be analyzed collaboratively, new data generated, problems or crime cases solved, and the contributor's ideation and problem-solving skills sharpened! Just like a game!