A team of long-time leaders of the Internet community have come together behind Dan Whaley, one of the forefathers of contemporary search engines, to build a system called Hypothes.is: an “open-source Internet platform to crowdsource peer-review on information everywhere.”

It’s a peer review system to check, verify and critique content all over the Web – and beyond. “Improving the credibility of the information we consume is humanity’s grandest challenge,” Whaley says. Topic experts will be enlisted in addition to crowdsourcing, a reputation system, browser plug-ins and APIs are on the roadmap and all the data will be stored at the Internet Archive. It sounds incredible, and it’s raising money on Kickstarter right now. The goal is for a prototype to be released in the first half of next year.

Hypothes.is is an incredibly ambitious non-profit project. It has the backing of some of the leading minds on the Web, too. From John Perry Barlow of the EFF to Garret Camp of StumbleUpon to Kaliya Hamlin of the Internet Identity Workshop to Nate Oostendorp of Slashdot, and many more. It’s a really impressive team of advisors. The project is lead by Dan Whaley, himself a very interesting entrepreneur.

Outside observers are immediately enthusiastic as well. Chris Saad of real-time database Echo articulates the project’s potential well, I think. “Trying to achieve thoughtful, Web-wide, open standards-based fact checking across the Web is one of the great challenges and opportunities of the Web, and humanity. I’m super excited about the possibilities.”

I am too.

Hypothesis quick overview 2011-07-10

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