Cofacts is an information checking platform operated through crowd collaboration and chatbot to have discrete messages of unknown credibility carefully reviewed and discussed through the joint efforts of the public. Cofacts can respond to users' questions and requests 24/7 via chatbot. Our website displays all the information collected, and each selfless volunteer contributor can check out on their own results.
Cofacts is a citizen-initiated platform that is not affiliated to any political party or politicians. It opens the results to everyone and encourage crowd collaboration that people contribute their own skills to build a chatbot fact-checking for everyone.
The core idea of this project is to make diverse voices easier to be listened to. We believe that fact-checking contents corresponding to rumors on the Internet, personal opinions and following reply articles are all "diverse voices". A person may believe online rumors because they have not been exposed to diverse voices, or are unwilling to reach to different voices. However, even if a person is willing to reach diverse voices, the threshold for actions remains very high.
On the other hand, for people who are used to fact-checking online news, checking all of suspicious LINE messages they receive is very time-consuming. Collaborative fact-checking database is like a jointly edited note. You can leave a response to whatever you fact-check and review in the note, so that when others receive the same message and want to check it, they do not have to start from scratch. Therefore, for people who are accustomed to and willing to do fact-checking and embrace diverse voices, a collaborative rumor-defying database can help them avoid repeated, consuming process.
Cofacts is one of the projects initiated in g0v, a Taiwanese civic technology community, which encourages open source code, collaboration and open data. In 2016, the initiator proposed to develop the main program of the chatbot. With each volunteer's active and enthusiastic contributions in copywriting, developing, fact-checking, and designing, the project has been gradually accumulating results. Further, the value of the project is to encourage citizens to actively contribute to public affairs, and keep the positive, great ideas and energy continuously influencing our society.