FactVNews.com is a place where everyone can pose a question and bet on the outcome of that question is the main idea of this site. The mechanism is pretty simple: after clicking the menu tab on your left top corner, you make statement (question) about something (news, future events), fill out required information, and you are all set! Learning by doing is the best way, but just in case you want some information before jumping in, here are some frequently asked questions.
How does factVnews.com work?
FactVNews.com operates similar to the way prediction market works - users bet on their own beliefs about future. In FactVNews,com, registered users can pose questions about the likelihood of future events (Prediction) or past events (FactChecking); there are two types of question, the question about past is called FactChecking, about future, Prediction.
There will be the closing date, and then resolve date to sort out winners and losers. The Closing date is when the question is closed and betting activities are halted. The Resolve date is when the decision is made and money in the betting pool is distributed.
Wait, isn’t it gambling?
We use Play Money (our Play Money is based on the US dollar as currency), and when you register, we provide you with $200 (☺) to start off. You can use this capital to open betting questions, make bets on already open questions, or donate to other users.
So what is FactVNews.com?
This site is more than a place to gamble with play money. Think of it as a game of survival using news and information. Unlike with gambling, you have many different ways to earn and spend your money. Staying active in this game requires money. Besides investing by betting on questions, you need enough money to i) open a discussion ($8), ii) make comment ($3), iii) rate others comments. If you don’t plan your activities, you will soon go bankrupt and be incapacitated.
But no worries, there are ways to earn money as well:
- Just like you do with Facebook, link and share interesting news (stories, ideas, or anything) from the web. Think of it as Facebook on steroid. It will cost you $3 to upload and share, but a “thumbs up” from other users will give you $5 each. Also, your comments can earn you $5 for each “thumbs up.” And of course, you can write your own story to make living on this site.
- If you open and own a discussion forum, every visit from a (registered) user will return $1. To open a question and the forum requires investment, but if you do it right (to attract many participants), you will have profitable results.
- If you are completely exhausted, out of ideas or cannot produce a post or link to a news story, then there is “invite your friends” option to the rescue. Once your friend registers for the site, you will earn instant $20!
In fact, your major source of earnings should not be betting but well thought out stories, comments, and discovery (and sharing) of good news articles. Winning a bet is like hitting home run. It is not the home run that wins the game(s), it is the steady stream of hits and runs that wins in the long run.
OK, I have heard of the prediction market, but what does fact checking have to do with it?
Facts are not as concrete as one might think. Even without checking out the excellent book by Samuel Arbesman, we know by experience that the same well-proven fact to me is only a fake news to other. We believe that most of what consist “FACT” is a social phenomenon and the function of people’s own beliefs. We call these "soft fact" to distinguish from "hard fact" where there is no controversy about the truth (e.g. The winner of World Series in 2010, Earth is not flat, etc.). We will primarily deal with these soft facts as they are the ones getting much attentions in the era of "Fake News." But we will not limit ourselves exclusively to soft facts as some people often challenge hard facts.
If the [soft] fact is developed by social process, then the right tool to address this would be the social network. In short, we (you, included) want to pose the same question about a fact, and see how many people believe it is ”fact” while others classify it as “fake news.” And we want to see how it work out when people’s money at stake. For now, it is only Play Money, but it still measures the level of reputation, respect, and freedom (if you are bankrupt, you are no longer able to place new bets).
FactChecking and Prediction are like brothers and sisters; both stem from people’s belief. Prediction considers event or news that has not happened yet while FactChecking deals with event or news items that have happened.
Additionally, we want to be clear that our FactChecking process only attempts to aggregate people's beliefs; we do not make judgments on what is a fact and what is not, we only observe and provide data for you to make judgment.
How do I participate in the betting?
Once you are registered, you can open a question to make Prediction or do FactChecking by clicking the menu tab “[F]actCheck [P]redict [S]hares.”
Then, you will be led to the following screen.
Fill out the required information in the blanks. A few things to keep in mind:
- The title must be clear and make logical sense. You will have a chance to validate your title in the validating section at the end, but make sure it is not ambiguous to begin with.
- There will only be two outcomes. One is defaulted as “Fake News.” The other must be something opposite to “Fake News” to make the question mutually exclusive. Two good examples are “Real News” or “Fact.” You have the freedom to choose any word you want within 10 characters, but be mindful when choosing the term. After all, you are spending your money($5) to open this question and you don’t want it to become useless because of unclear wording.
- The closing date is important. It should not be too late so that everyone forgets about the question, and it should not be so early that not enough people have time to place bets. If the opener of the question (FactCheck or Prediction) wants to extend closing date, he/she can use the comment section to express his/her intention and mark it “special announcement.” If no other participants oppose, the moderator can extend the closing date.
- Be sure to double check your inputs. There is no second chance! Because this is a betting system, which operates as a contract, we chose not to allow editing after you have submitted.
What makes a good question?
For a FactChecking question, it is easy to craft a clear question. Most any news title will do the job, as people are more likely to be familiar with the news already. However, Prediction question are a bit trickier and require a little practice. The rule of thumb is that the title of the question should take the form "(event) X will happen by (date) Y" or (who/what) X will do something by (date) Y. There are other possible question formats, but if your question title does not follow the above format, it might not be a good question.
What happens after a question is opened?
All questions go through the phase of opening date -> closing date -> resolving date
- The opening date is the time when the question is opened.
- The closing date is the time after which all betting activities are stopped.
- The resolving date is when the moderator decides the outcome with sufficient proof of the outcome. If there is a case that no sufficient proof is available, we go by the rule of “vox populi, vox dei,” which is similar to majority rule. Another word, if more money was bet on “Fake News” so that more people (or money) belive it is “Fake News,” then it is “Fake News” and we distribute money accordingly.
What happens if a question gets resolved in the real world prior to the closing date?
In such an unanticipated case, the moderator may close the bet without notice. The owner (opener) of the question can request closing through the discussion board. If any unexpected event forces question to be closed, the user or owner can request closing of the betting with evidence (e.g. news article, government announcement, etc.)