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Gov’t dishes out millions to develop fact-checking tool for national newsrooms

Published in Blog on March 28, 2023 by Brianna Kraemer

Controlling the narrative equates to power, and the government would love to hold a tighter grip on the narrative.

To do so, however, requires priming mainstream news outlets, but more strategically, the journalists. 

The federal agency known as the National Science Foundation is distributing over $5.7 million in grants to the University of Wisconsin Madison for the purposes of developing a misinformation software detector for journalists to use. 

The engine is called Course Correct, and is designed to be a “precision tool providing journalists with guidance against misinformation.” 

The first grant totals $750,000 and is for delivering an innovative, three-step method to identify, test, and correct real-world instances of online misinformation. 

"This project is motivated by a desire to understand and help address two democratic and public health crises facing the U.S.: skepticism regarding the integrity of U.S. elections and hesitancy related to COVID-19 vaccines," the grant announcement reads. "Both of these crises are fueled by online misinformation, widely circulating on social media, with networks of users actively sowing doubts about election integrity and vaccine efficacy."

Another $5 million grant pays professors to test and refine the new, publicly funded Course Correct, which is advertised as a Precision Guidance Against Misinformation.

One of the goals of the project is to “scale Course Correct into local, national, and international newsrooms, guided by dozens of interviews and ongoing collaborations with journalists, as well as tech developers and software engineers.”

The ultimate purpose is to help journalists identify trending misinformation on social media, strategically correct false claims and test the effectiveness of corrections in real time. 

This reveals how important the narrative truly is to those in power. Controlling public perception is worth millions – if not billions – of dollars. This should amplify the morale of critical thinkers, as there’s much value to maintaining an independent mind. 

“Democracy and public health in the United States rely on trust in institutions," the grant asserts. 

When the institution itself is funding information projects through public universities, it comes as no surprise that the people respond by holding minimal trust in the institution.

Americans have learned their lesson when it comes to trusting the government.

Convention of States is a grassroots organization dedicated to self-governance. The federal government has grown too large and powerful, and it’s time we call an Article V convention of states to restore power to the people and their respective states.

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