Crowdsource Democracy

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The Information Party

How it Works

The Information Party is a political party whose platform is developed through the web. Users submit their Views and vote on Views other users have submitted. All users' current votes are public, but users can change their votes at any time, and past Views are never publicly displayed. Each View has a comment thread for each side of the debate, and users can vote comments up or down so that the best arguments always rise to top. Those comments include text advocating for their position and links to informative sources such as videos, news articles, or research studies.

Any user can submit a new View, and when a View receives enough support from the community, it is promoted to an official party Stance. The homepage displays both the most recently promoted Stances and the most controversial Views. That way, you always stay informed.

Purpose

To improve the representation of the American people and the efficacy of their government.

Values

  • Transparency & Open Minds
  • Respect & Humility
  • Data & Information
  • Logic & Reason

FAQs

How is a community that currently has no Members going to have any real impact on the American political system?

The Information Party is not just a website. We are organizing as an official political party, and we aspire to nominate and elect candidates for all levels of government.

To do this we’ll crowdsource our political Stances - which will include Beliefs, Legislation, and Candidates - through the web. Initially, The Information Party will not have a large enough constituency to nominate its own candidates, but Members will submit candidates from other parties (who align with the Stances of our party) as Candidate Stances on our site. That way, The Information Party can have an impact on day one.

Our pre-registration list continues to grow, and we’ll draw from that list to form our initial user base. As more Americans join us, our influence will grow, and with enough support we will nominate and even elect our own candidates.

What does “Reputation” mean? How is it earned, and what does it affect?

Reputation is The Information Party’s metric that represents respect in our community. It is earned when Members contribute to the site by submitting views and leaving comments, but more is earned by contributing to the site in a meaningful way: posting insightful content, receiving upVotes, and submitting Views that become Stances.

Voting privileges are reserved for Members who’ve gained some small amount of Reputation. This will incentivise new Members to post new and insightful content by rewarding them when they are well received by the community, in addition to limiting the influence of trolls. We’re aware that this may be detrimental to initial Member acquisition, but we believe this sort of requirement selects for those individuals that share our core values of respect and humility. The fastest way to become a reputable member of The Information Party is to earn the collective respect of your peers. In time, Reputation will also be used to determine who will be able to become a Moderator.

How does Voting work?

Every Member on the site is allowed only one position on any given View, Comment, or Moderator activity. Those positions are called Votes and are limited to either Endorsements or Protests. If a view receives enough Endorsements then it is promoted to an official party Stance.

In addition, all of a Member’s Votes are publicly displayed on their profile for transparency. To encourage users to keep open minds towards new information, Members can change their Votes at any time. Only current Votes are displayed on the Member profile; in other words, historical votes are hidden so there’s never a repercussion for changing your mind.

How will you keep the discussions on the site constructive? How will you keep Members from abusing others, flamebaiting, trolling, or contributing irrelevant content?

Every View will have a thread of Comments, and each Comment is either endorsing or protesting the View. Members can reply directly to Comments and affect the order the Comments are displayed in by upVoting them. Members can also Report a Comment, and when a comment is reported enough, the Comment is collapsed (but still accessible) and Moderators are informed.

The Moderator Dashboard will provide the most reputable members of the community with the information they need to maintain a positive culture on the site. With access to reports on the most reported Comments and Members, Moderators will enforce the culture of The Information Party by suspending troublesome Members. Moderator activity will be kept in check since we’ll allow Members to Protest Moderator actions. Moderators lose Reputation when they are inactive and when their actions are Protested, and Moderators will be demoted if enough of the party Protests their activity.

We want to hear every voice. However, some people will actively push against our mission and will troll The Information Party. Since this initiative is Reputation-driven and community-moderated, it will have a mix of technology and community that ensures the discussions are respectful and constructive.

What are the qualifications for Membership?

Registration is also a consideration we’re still actively discussing. The final version will have a Membership of American adults. Facebook integration and public voter registration lists are both being investigated as means to validate Membership, and we’d love to hear your thoughts!

Not every American has internet access, and The Information Party will not appeal to all of those who do. Is that an issue?

The father of the internet, Tim Berners-Lee, once said, "The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect." Through the medium of the internet, we have the ability to capture the widest audience in an interactive manner.

While it’s true that not every American citizen has access to the internet, according to Pew Internet, about 80% of American adults use the internet. Inclusiveness is very important to The Information Party; exclusion on any basis whether it be race, gender, age, political affiliation, or physical disability is just not acceptable. The unfortunate reality is that internet access is skewed by race, age, income and educational attainment; however, the internet continues to spread as more and more American citizens get online. Although it is not the perfect tool for a true democracy (since it cannot facilitate discussion between every American), it is a damn good one, and the best one available to us today.

We also understand that the very idea of The Information Party will not appeal to everyone, but neither does any other political party. By creating a platform that crowdsources democracy through the web, we aim to destroy the taboo that says political debate and public discourse are mutually exclusive. We know that in order to resolve the bigger political issues it’s going to require a respectful, humble community full of individuals with open minds who understand the value of transparency and can apply logic and reason to data and information. We hope you’ll join us.