Ameritocracy, which just launched into invite-only public beta, is a new political site that helps people cut through the noise and rate and review political information for credibility and relevance. The site helps users to sort through the sea of information we're pummeled with via the media each day and pull out the more credible and relevant bits, while working together to discredit the information that isn't on the level. 100 ReadWriteWeb readers can get access to the site right now by signing up with the invite code: "readwrite"
"Ameritocracy is an online community founded to level the playing field in political information by allowing any user to report, rate, and respond to brief quotes from politicians, the media, and other organizations," the site's Outreach Director, Bobby Kennedy III told us in an email. "Anyone can contribute content, and our reputation system encourages quality user participation while building an index of how reliable different information gatekeepers are."
In addition to rating quotes on credibility and relevance to the reader (because relevance is so subjective, that makes it the less useful of the two metrics), users can also post challenging or supporting statements. In that respect, Ameritocracy is something like a crowdsourced version of Annenberg's FactCheck.org. Users can also add context to quotes and discuss and debate quotes via a comment system.
According to the About page on the site, its goal is to "help people cut through the noise and gain quick access to the whole picture." When we asked Kennedy if taking quotes out of context really helped reveal the full picture or just presented an even more limited view, he told us that "whole picture" was probably not the best term to use to describe what the site does. "Our intent is that the short quotes, short user responses (Supporting, Challenging, and Adding Context), and the ratings make it far more efficient for people to get a broader view," he said. "The quote should be enough in-context that it captures the speaker's intent. If not, the community can flag the quote as being Out of Context, and the contributing user will take a reputation hit."
Ameritocracy is attempting to create a non-partisan community that keeps the focus on fact checking and credibility and not on political ideology. We like the idea of Ameritocracy. Giving people a way to rate the credibility of political information or statements and challenge facts publicly helps to level the playing field and keep politicians, organizations, and the media honest.
If you're interested in participating at Ameritocracy, you can sign up with the invite code "readwrite" -- there are 100 invites available on a first come, first serve basis.