Media Matters for America is releasing a sort of Wikipedia for conservative misinformation.
The site, Mythopedia, which was shared with TPM ahead of its release, is meant to be an online compendium of truths and lies peddled by conservatives. The website’s unveiling comes a day before the Conservative Political Action Conference.
“The week of CPAC seemed like the most appropriate time to launch a fact-checking tool, like Mythopedia, as I’m sure we’re going to be confronted with both old and new right-wing lies during the conference,” Media Matters president Bradley Beychok said in a statement.
Here’s how the site works. The front page is bar where users type in a claim. Searching that claim then pulls up “lies” or “truths” with research backing up whether it’s a truth or a lie. For instance a search of the Obama administration on Benghazi directs to a page with the the lie “The Obama administration covered up the Benghazi attack by pointing to an anti-Islam video” and the truth “A bipartisan Senate report connects the Benghazi attack to an anti-Islam video” as well as evidence backing up the truth.
The site is starting with 400 entries and will be updated regularly. The updated fact checks will be done in real time by Media Matters staff. Media Matters will start soliciting tips and feedback from audiences and could possibly start moving highly involved users of the site into a more involved role.
“We’re going to be launching a new action site fairly soon for our online audience and I think part of the idea would be that we start moving over people that are highly engaged audience members into this higher level of authentication where they’re creating entries and waiting for review,” Media Matters Executive Vice President Angelo Carusone told TPM. “So the editor wouldn’t just be the primary person creating entries, we would start opening up that process up for allies and for our audience and to create their own. And as long as [the entry] satisfies our editorial standards and is accurate we would then publish that entry. But we didn’t want to start from that out of the gate because we basically didn’t want to detract from the primary purpose which is that authoritative source.”
Below is a walk-through video of the site created by Media Matters: