A “Truth Teller” for India’s Polity too?

The world of news media is evolving at a pace never seen earlier in the history of mankind. And at the heart of the evolution lies the role of technology. Among the many useful new additions to the global news landscape is a new feature called “Truth Teller” by The Washington Post.

Funded by Knight Foundation’s Prototype Fund, The Washington Post’s  Truth Teller aims to fact check speeches by politicians and public figures “in as close to real time as possible,” writes Cory HaikThe Washington Post‘s Executive Producer for Digital News in the Knight Foundation’s blog.

In the blog she further writes:

The Post is dedicated to this project because we believe strongly that informing and educating the public is one of the most critical missions we can perform, particularly when it comes to our elected officials – regardless of their political affiliation. Amid the cacophony of an instant-news culture, identifying the truth is both harder and more important than ever. Facts themselves are increasingly under attack and falsehoods can easily and instantly find their way to a mass audience. In fact, many are designed to.


The Truth Teller prototype was built and runs with a combination of several technologies – some new, some very familiar. We’ve combined video and audio extraction with a speech-to-text technology to search a database of facts and fact checks. The Post also worked withDan Schultz, creator of Truth Goggles, as he helped consult and shared his knowledge of real-time fact checking. We are effectively taking in video, converting the audio to text, matching that text to our database, and then displaying, in real time, what’s true and what’s false. The key to the project’s success is building an authoritative database – our goal is to identify falsehoods, not create more of them.

Read the full blog by Cary here:
Debuting Truth Teller from the Washington Post; Real-time lie detection service at your service (not quite yet)

In India, where public figures routinely contradict their own stance and statements to suit their interests, it would be worthwhile to cite their flip-flops and shame them – all for the good cause of making them more responsible. What say?

Come, let’s share some thoughts together.

Leave a comment