"who checks the fact checkers?" "we must be able to judge for ourselves how credible certain claims are"

Society must ensure that people have access to truthful and helpful information without censorship.

The keyword is access instead of coercion. Paternalistic explanations on what to believe and what not are often denied to maintain personal integrity.

Free thinking people don't want to be mothered by corporations on what to read. Fact checking – especially in combination with content blocking – can easily be viewed as politically biased.[1]

However, the fast spread of information online has led to an exposure to statements that are not easily evaluated (half true claims etc.). In theory, the confronted citizen would need to investigate that claim independently. Yet this requires skills and resources not everyone has. Research shows that the average person seldom has the time or motivation to engage in in-depth cognitive evaluation of a claim (Pennycook and Rand, 2019).

The problem of fake news and half-truths which are spreading like wildfire through the internet is well known. These unsubstantiated yet engaging claims are eroding trust in earnest media and serious journalistic work (Prier, 2017).

Censorship can partially stop false claims but is no valid solution for an open and free online-society (Chan et al., 2017).

We need a new, unbiased tool with transparent processes to create trust.

The Source Engine wants to become that toolset to check the credibility of any given claim. It works unlike any fact-checking service. Instead of taking responsibility away from the searching individual, the Source Engine creates accessibility by easing the process of source checking.

It provides insight into the use and context of claims. By showing the source of a claim to the authors and their peers they can confirm or deny their correct citations: the scientific review process online. Contextual information allows the user to identify partisan and confirmation bias.

And the new transparency forces the writers to take responsibility for their own publications: valid sources in a healthy balance, correctly cited.

Everyone shall be empowered to take their own informed judgement.

[1] It’s a given that many fact checking organisations do an incredibly valuable service in gathering and evaluating information! The problem is that people who are inclined towards a certain belief try to confirm a worldview by reaffirming emotions. Research shows that partisanship is more important in the sharing of information than the actual content of the claim. In other words: The source is more important than its content (Pennycook et al., 2021).

We need to stop misinformation without censorship.
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