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

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  • Slide 1
  • The Rumor-Mill Speak Truth to Power.......and Live to Tell the Tale
  • Slide 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
  • Slide 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
  • Slide 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
  • Slide 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.
  • Slide 6
  • How to Protect Anonymity? Users ONLY have a random ID (e.g., 2LD34JF3) and pass-code No cookies, IP-tracking or logging Users can post to/surf the site using existing forwarding, cryptographic, dark-net and/or remailer technology
  • Slide 7
  • Whats It Look Like? www.digg.com [screenshot]www.digg.comscreenshot www.slashdot.com [screenshot]www.slashdot.comscreenshot Key features: Home page with hot items by points, comments or momentum Categories (House, Senate, CA Governor, Iran, Toxic Waste, etc.) Comment/voting area for all rumors
  • Slide 8
  • 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.
  • Slide 9
  • 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
  • Slide 10
  • 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
  • Slide 11
  • Next Steps... 1.Install/configure web-based applications so the site works 2.Get support for moral, promotional, financial and most importantly legal purposes 3.Form non-profit with suitable Board 4.Recruit moderators 5.Have growth plan 6.Go live
  • Slide 12
  • Whose Idea Is This? David Zetland is a PhD student at University of California, Davis in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. He has traveled to over 65 countries many of them in the developing world. He does not like the abuse of power. dzetland@gmail.com
  • Slide 13
  • Slide 14

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