New Lie Detection Standard Needed in Era of Trump

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Which is better, in-band signaling or out-of-band signaling? Old-school telecom geeks know what I’m talking about. In-band means that control codes (start, stop, ready, etc.) are transmitted as part of the data stream. Out-of-band means that control signals are transmitted on a dedicated channel separate from the data stream.

Why bring this up? Because it’s gained new salience in the era of Trump falsehoods: They now come so thick and fast that new standards have to be developed to deal with them. CNN, for example, apparently endorses out-of-band fact checking. They simply let Trump speak and paste the fact checking into the chyron. The New York Times, by contrast, prefers in-band fact checking. They let readers know about Trump’s lies directly in the text of their stories.

Which is the better standard? Do we even need a standard for correcting Trump’s lies? Will Trump be able to overwhelm us regardless of which standard we choose? These are critical questions for the upcoming campaign season. Who will take the lead on this?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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