At Logora, we are creating spaces on online press sites that allow citizens to express their ideas in a structured and fact-checked format. Over the past 24 months, more than 40 media outlets in Europe have implemented our debate space, with a total of 2.1 million readers signing up to our contributive spaces.
This success in engaging audiences has led us to question the real impact of these online discussions and the framework we can provide for them.
What we’re building
In collaboration with MediaFutures, we aim to counteract the negative effects of misinformation and disinformation and build trust in scientific and democratic institutions by promoting balanced viewpoints and corroborating evidence. MediaFutures’ commitment to combating false information enables Logora to strengthen its security measures and devise new ways to structure online exchanges. We aim to highlight contributions that present well-constructed arguments and verified information, allowing everyone to form their own opinions and understand those of others. We are building open-source modules that any site can use to facilitate discussion with its readership. These modules aim to provide reliable context and facts for debates using data from official sources, as well as to summarize the themes, sentiments, and opinions expressed in debates in real-time.
Our ultimate goal is to compile comprehensive summaries of debates on key themes from all our partners’ sites and transmit them to governments and EU institutions, making online debate a key indicator of public opinion and giving it democratic impact.
Regarding the context module, we have successfully displayed relevant articles next to debates, such as a debate about the garbage collector situation in France. We automatically found a relevant article giving information to the participant, which stated that the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, refuses to requisition them despite their strike.
We are still working on adding sources from official sources as there is currently a lack of standard for structured data. We plan on finding and using structured data to extract relevant statistics to display on debates. Regarding the synthesis module, we have made significant progress thanks to recent improvements in the field, such as BERT published in 2018. We are currently testing different models. The crisis of confidence in democratic institutions in many European countries and the rise of opinion bubbles require us to build a more structured and peaceful debate. We are particularly proud to have been chosen by MediaFutures and excited to participate in the emergence of an alternative online discussion.