The Politician Truth Ratings Project

Overview and videos is implementing Politician Truth Ratings by building the the Truth Ratings System (TRS). A rating will look something like this:

Politician Truth Rating mockup

For an introduction to why we need Politician Truth Ratings, how they work, and how this is a new form of journalism, please see this video. Watch in full screen mode so you can see the detail.


After you've watched the above video, you may be interested in this one:



(NOTE - These are Vimeo videos. Some browsers, such as Firefox, may have trouble running the videos. If that occurs try Chrome.)

These videos are undergoing development and will be used in our Kickstarter campaign. Please contact us with your feedback on the videos. Try to be as specific as possible:

1. What did you like?

2. What did you not like?

3. What suggestions do you have for improvement?

4. How strongly do you like the video?

5. Is this video something you would pass on to people you know?

6. How do you think others will react to the video and why?

You can also read our Kickstarter Page preview, but this will soon be greatly revised.

The first generation of this project was called the Political Persuasion Knowledge Base (PPKB).

One long-term plan we have is a browser add-on that shows the Truth Rating for news sources, if they have been rated. It will take a long time to reach this point, but if we can do it, the add-on will go a long way toward combating fake news, propaganda, and political deception in general. The Truth Rating System can be used to develop ratings for any kind of source, not just politicians.


We've built a prototype of the key features of the Politician Truth Ratings System. You can play around with this to get a rough idea of how the system will eventually look, and in particular how analysis will be done using a text editor and the argument mapper. Feedback is welcome!

Some helpful hints for using the prototype:

Menubar - The green menubar doesn't have much, just some examples of the key parts of the future website. The home menu item, TRS, introduces the site. The Ratings item has images of how a Politician Truth Rating would look. The Analysis item show how claims would be analyzed. The other items doesn't do much.

Analysis - The Analysis menu item was the hardest part to develop. On the left is where claim check articles are written, using a text editor. On the right is where an article's argument is diagrammed. The tiny tabs (1 to 10) are for different versions of your article.

Tabs - When you click on a tab to switch to it, the current article is automatically saved to local storage. There is no server database. To save the article you're working on, click its tab.

Sample claim-check article - Click on the E1 or E2 buttons to insert a sample article in the current tab. E2 is a full example of what a good claim check article would look like. Click on the Create False Dilemma Map button to create the argument map for that article.

How to create an argument map - Click the Clear Map button. Enter some text or click the E1 button. Select some text with the mouse. Then click one of the five colored buttons. Try the Claim button. Select the "mark" by clicking on "Claim." Double click on "Claim". Drag and drop that word on the empty argument map. That claim node should appear. Next mark a rule and drag and drop it on the claim node. Then mark a fact and drag and drop it on the rule. Then do the same thing for an RClaim, which is a reusable claim. You should now have the smallest possible complete argument.

Note how the Confidence Level is automatically calculated. If you build an argument map, currently there is no way to save it.

On the map, nodes can be dragged, resized by the left and right side, and deleted with the delete key. Nodes and node branches can be moved to another location by holding down the Control key while dragging. Blue dots indicate allowed destinations. To switch nodes, hold down Shift.

Marked nodes - When you mark a node in the text editor, selected text gets a dashed underline, and the database text (if any) is gray with a solid underline. The gray text can be edited to simulate what it would say if it can from the database. Rules, Facts, and Reusable Claims will all be looked up, since they come from the database. Claims and Intermediate Conclusions have no gray text since they are created in the text editor, and do not come from the database.

Shortcut Keys - When the focus is on the text editor, you can control how much of the node marking is shown. Control + Alt + comma toggles normal mark visiblity. Control + Alt + period toggles the database text. Control + Alt + slash toggles hiding all markup except a dashed line under the marked text. This gives a very readable article.

In the published article, the database text would be hidden to maximize readibility and the author's intent. Hidden database text is the default.

Node weights - Each node that's n0t a rule or claim has a weight, from zero to 100%. To change a node's weight, click on the node to select it. Then use the up and down arrow keys to change the weight.

Weights are used to in the confidence level calculation. A rule must have at least two inputs with non-zero weights. That's because an argument consists of two or more premises that a rule of logic used to reach a conclusions.

Zoom - The map can be zoomed using the zero, minus, and plus keys. Zero resets it to normal, ie 100%. The focus must be on the argument map.

Video - You can also watch the above videos, especially the second one, for how the prototype works.

If you have comments, questions, or suggestions, please contact us. Thanks!


Software Requirements - This what the software development company is using as a starting point. We are working with Applied Imagination.

Project Plan - As of February 8, 2018. This is hard to keep current.

The False Dilemma that Took a Country to a False War - An article written for the Kickstarter video. It illustrates a new form of journalism, using markup and Structure Argument Analysis. This was later programmed into the prototype on the E2 button.