SwiftRiver

Ushahidi Inc.

Date Awarded
06/23/11
Amount
$250,000
Grant Period
06/23/11 to 06/22/13
Focus Area
Journalism & Media Innovation
Initiative
Knight News Challenge

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To increase transparency by creating a platform that helps verify information emerging from mobile phones and the social web.

As news events unfold, mobile phones and the Internet are flooded with information. Through SwiftRiver platform, Ushahidi will attempt to verify this information by parsing it and evaluating sources. Working across email, Twitter, web feeds and text messages, the platform will use a combination of techniques to identify trends and evaluate the information based on the creator’s reputation. The project builds on Ushahidi’s past efforts to verify the crowdsourced information collected in global crisis scenarios like the Kenyan election crisis in 2008 and the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan.

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Project Team

Jon Gosier

Jonathan Gosier, a designer, software developer and entrepreneur, is director of product for Swiftly.org at Ushahidi. He is a TED Senior Fellow and TEDx organizer. In 2009 he spoke at TEDGlobal about his company Appfrica and one of its projects that connected rural Ugandan villages with the Internet. The service, in collaboration with nonprofit OpenMind, was called QuestionBox and allowed people to ask questions and get timely, vetted answers from human operators. Besides Appfrica, he founded Hive Colab, which works to build local capacity for young technologists. Appfrica is an active mentoring group and investor for software developers in Africa and works with multi-national firms that wish to do work there.

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