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PolitiFact’s new ‘Settle It!’ app hopes to resolve dinner-table arguments

By on August 22, 2012

PolitiFact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking website of the Tampa Bay Times, has released Settle It!, a free app designed to resolve political disagreements.

The app is known as “PolitiFact’s Argument Ender” because it allows users to type names, keywords and subjects and instantly find relevant Truth-O-Meter ratings. Users can then share the results through email, Facebook and Twitter.

Also included in the app is the PolitiFact Challenge, which tests players’ knowledge of fact-checked statements. It presents players with a series of factual claims, and they must guess whether the claim was rated True, False or Pants on Fire. Players earn points for each correct answer and can work their way up through five playing levels, from “Intern” to “Aide,” “Lobbyist,” “Pundit” and then the highest level, “Wonk.”

“We often hear from readers that they use our fact checking to settle arguments at the dinner table, so we created an app to make that easier,” said Bill Adair, PolitiFact’s creator and editor. “They can just pull out their smartphone, type in a few keywords and see the results.”

PolitiFact’s Settle It! is funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The app is a project of PolitiFact Lab – PolitiFact’s partnership with The Poynter Institute, a training center for professional and citizen journalism in St. Petersburg, Fla. and owner of the Tampa Bay Times.

The app works on iPhones and Android devices and is available from iTunes and the major Android app stores. Links to download the app are available at here.

The app was created by 3Advance, an Arlington, Va. company that builds websites and mobile apps. The project was managed by Jeff Sonderman, the digital media fellow at Poynter.

Last year, PolitiFact created the nation’s first fact-checking app, PolitiFact Mobile. The full-featured app provides access to recent Truth-O-Meter ratings, report cards for politicians and campaign promise features such as the Obameter and GOP Pledge-O-Meter.

The new app offers features not available in the original app, including free-text searching of PolitiFact sites, the PolitiFact Challenge and a list of fact-checks that are “trending.”

“PolitiFact is committed to finding new ways to help people get our fact-checking when they need it,” said Adair. “Settle It! not only helps you resolve arguments at the dinner-table, it’s also very handy when you see campaign ads or watch presidential debates.”

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