The Latvian startup Toneboard in co-operation with Re:Baltica, the Baltic analytical journalism center, have announced that they will be receiving financing from the Google-backed "Digital News Initiative" fund to develop their factpchecking platform, 4Facts.org.
The total size of the fund is 22 million euro, which have been made available to 107 projects in 27 countries. Altogether 988 projects applied for the funding. The "Ir" magazine reported that of the funded projects, 49 projects require up to 50,000eur to develop prototypes. 31 projects are mid-sized peojects that require up to 300,000 eur financing, while there are 27 large-scale projects that require up to 1 million euro.
The joint Toneboard and Re:Baltica project will receive 50,000eur to develop a prototype. "Currenty we've thought of the concept. The technical schetch of the prototpye is done, and what it'll look like is substantially described. The first potential "fact checkers" have been approached. We have funding for the prototype, meaning we can build something very small and demonstrate that it's capable of functioning. We're going to build the prototype and we'll analyze if it can work. By prototype, in this case, we understand not only the technical solution, but also the usability criteria and volume capacity when it comes to fact-checking." says Martins Vaivars, CEO of Toneboard (pictured).
M. Vaivars compares the principle of the 4Facts.org platform with Uber's solution in the taxi industry, which in its essence is another example of the sharing economy:
"Here's the idea - rather than professional fact-checking organizations there are people, who aren't professionals, but have a few hours of free time, that they can devote to fact-checking. They can be media students as well as regular, active citizens. What they receive on the platform, is a reputation. The goal will be reached if we're able to considerably increase the amount of people on the platform who truly check facts."
You can find out more about the platforms functioning principles in the blog post written by M. Vaivars.