New Super PAC App allows users to find out what organizations, money, and claims are behind presidential ads

Super PAC App is an innovative way to find out more about what lurks behind TV ads in the upcoming U.S. presidential election

Above: Super PAC App. (Mandatory photo credit: Justin Adelson, MIT Sloan School of Management.)

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. – Super PAC App, an easy way to find out what people and groups are behind presidential TV ads, is now available for free through the App Store.

Users can run the iPhone app whenever and wherever they are watching any presidential ad by any organization. With TuneSat’s audio recognition technology, the ad is identified and the exploration begins. Users can find out who and how much money is behind the ad, rate and see how others have rated the ad, and dig deeper into the ad’s claims.

The upcoming election is the first presidential race with Super PACs—organizations that can raise and spend unlimited funds donated to them by corporations, labor unions, and individuals. Super PAC App, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is here to help people sort through the noise in an easy and entertaining way.

“You like your TV? Keep watching. You like your couch? Stay on it. You don’t understand what these political ads are all about? Use Super PAC App,” says Co-Founder Dan Siegel. 

To date, over $320 million has already been contributed to nearly 800 Super PACs, and those numbers are growing quickly. Most of the money raised will be spent on TV ads, and in swing states viewers will be inundated with political ads.

“Super PACs are descending on this election, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed,” says Co-Founder Jennifer Hollett. “This app is an opportunity to educate and engage voters, in a way that makes traditional political TV advertising more interactive as well as accountable.”

"TuneSat's mission is to enable transparency and accountability,” says TuneSat’s COO/Co-Founder Chris Woods. “We're thrilled that our detection technology is being used to provide clarity in the political process."

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is supporting the app as a part of an initiative to deepen American’s engagement in democracy and foster more informed communities. “With TV advertising consuming a significant amount of the resources we spend on selecting our leaders, it’s important to the future of our democracy that Americans can transparently view who funds these messages,” said Michael Maness, vice president for journalism and media innovation at Knight Foundation.

Super PAC App is available for free download in the App Store.

About Glassy Media
Glassy Media is a digital production company hatched out of the MIT Media Lab by co-founders Jennifer Hollett and Dan Siegel. Their current project is Super PAC App, a mobile app for presidential TV ads, bringing transparency to the 2012 U.S. election. For more information, visit superpacapp.org.
 
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org.

About TuneSat
TuneSat’s exclusive audio recognition technology deftly detects any audio use on television broadcasts and the Internet, even in the noisiest of broadcast environments, including under dialogue or sound effects. TuneSat provides unrivaled, accurate reporting to its clients and is actively monitoring hundreds of broadcast channels and millions of websites around the world.

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Contact: Andrew Sherry, vice president for communications, Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677; media@knightfoundation.org

Editors note: Full resolution image for above picture is hereMandatory photo credit: Justin Adelson, MIT Sloan School of Management.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.