With the first round of voting done, the numbers are pretty even for Sarkozy and Hollande.
These next two weeks will be critical for both candidates, but more important, critical for French voters. With Hollande & Sarkozy taking only a combined 55% of the votes in the first round of voting, that leaves 45% of voters up in the air for each candidate. Factwatchers thinks they’ve got the solution – separate the truth from the lies. Factwatchers is a web application that allows user to keep track of the accusations, allegations & claims that each candidate makes. From there, in a wikipedian style, users examine the percentages and numbers, and find quantitative proof that either confirms or “busts” the claim.
Speaking with cofounder Florent Gosselin, a former project manager at Atlantic2.0, the Nantes-based arm of Silicon Sentier, he told me that their aim is to “democratize the debate system,” something that soundbyte-crazy media has destroyed in the recent years. While candidate cling to the fact that journalists – tv, radio, print & web – are eager to grab the sexiest ten words out of a candidates mouth and wrap an article around it, Factwatchers hopes to debunk the soundbytes, and to bring analysis and truth back into the debate process.
The free platform was launched this past March, and is open to all users (who speak French). You can follow them on twitter at @FactWatchers.