Poliloq is an online tool to help users to understand political issues for both sides of the debate.
This project was designed for the RSA Student Design Awards, which is the world’s longest-running student design competition. Four group members and myself were challenged to design a solution that harnesses digital tools to increase the quantity and quality of citizens participation in the democratic processes.
Throughout Western societies, there is a growing distrust of the media and confusion concerning authenticity of information. Citizens are becoming increasingly polarized in their political views and entrenched within echo chambers. Consequently, people are often unable to understand and discuss opposing perspectives on important political issues, impeding the democratic process.
We conducted interviews, surveys and online research to develop our understanding of how the public interacts with political information. A key insight was that it is important to understand how and why opposing viewpoints are justified by others, this is because productive communication between people with opposing viewpoints is essential to maintain any democracy. Our journey included regularly presenting our progress to professors and peers for feedback, and testing our product for usability and efficacy.
Our solution is a decentralized online tool made to analyze political issues from multiple viewpoints using crowd sourced verified information as support. Users are then able to use the platform to engage in fact-based discussions. The problem is solved by fostering mutual understanding between people on different sides of an issue.
Every issue starts with a brief summary of the issue along with an overview of how people on each side view the issue. Most importantly the mutual goals section highlights the shared goals of people on both sides of the issue.
Information is sorted into one of three categories, verified, unverified and verified false. By selecting one of the items user can view the claim, vote on the validity of the claim and comment. Additionally users can view the source of the claim and the edit history.
Users can discuss each individual claim. Additionally, at the bottom of each page there is a general discussion section for people to discuss the topic.
Each editable element of the page has an edit history so people can view and revert edits. This is important to keep people accountable.
From a commercial perspective, poliloq would set up as a non-profit organization. We believe that the success of this platform relies very heavily on our users’ trust in order to feel comfortable referencing a platform like poliloq. We want to remain ethical and perpetuate a sense of trust and transparency.