We See You, Super PACs

A new iPhone app allows Americans a clear window into the operations and rationale behind the Super PACs that are currently blanketing television's airwaves with campaign ads.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

Just in time for election season comes the Super PAC App, which gives iPhone users a way to find out who they have to thank for a particular political ad happening within their earshot. The free app, conceived as part of a class at the MIT Media Lab, works by using audio recognition technology to identify, and then display, detailed data about the Super PAC responsible for the ad. Some of the information revealed by the app includes the amount of money spent and the "truthiness" of the claims being made.

What's the Big Idea?

Writer Adriana Lopez says, "To date over $300 million has already been contributed to nearly 800 Super PACs...[and] a majority of the money raised will be spent on television advertisements, specifically in swing states." The Super PAC App is funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which is spearheading a larger initiative to improve transparency and increase Americans' knowledge about the political process. The app's designers hope to extend the app for use in other countries' elections as well.

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