The Best Way to Fix Politics? Hack it.


debug politics

Debug Politics happening this weekend will give you the chance to harness some of that passion you may feel from recent political events.

Regardless of how you feel about the outcome of the recent election, there’s one thing we all agree on: this one was messy.

From fake news to email hacking, there’s a lot about how this election played out that took us by surprise. You might even say the process was “broken”… and you know how the tech community responds to that word. :-)

Jesse Pickard, CEO & founder of Elevate, took up the challenge and sat down with Andrew Ackerman, Managing Director at Dreamit, to discuss how Debug Politics, through hackathons, is addressing some of the many issues facing politics today.

What’s the goal of Debug Politics?
Debug Politics aims to convert the frustration in the tech community into real action. We think we can do better than angry tweets and Facebook posts.
What makes you think the tech community can solve this problem? 
As developers and designers, we have the power to quickly build products out of thin air that can affect millions of people. We need to use this power for more than just making money at our startups or big tech jobs. It’s vital that we apply our skills to solving critical political problems that are affecting the nation.
Why a hackathon?

Hackathons are about action. The short timeframe forces participants to stop talking and just get to work.

How have you been surprised by the response and attendance of these events?
Absolutely. Debug Politics started as a group of friends that wanted get together for a weekend to hack on some problems. Now we’ve had two events that have attracted 600+ people and Fred Wilson just committed to judging this weekend’s hackathon! It’s pretty surreal.

What are a few of the ideas that the participants in earlier events came up with?

Here are just a few examples:

  • We Vote: Make & share your own voter guide.
  • News Navigator: Chrome extension to combat the spread of fake news by flagging fake news so voters can differentiate fact from fiction.
  • Regulately: Help make user interfaces better for government sites so you can provide feedback on legislation.
  • See The Spectrum: Shows you the bias of news publications you read and suggesting alternatives from the other side of the political spectrum.
  • Flipside: A Chrome extension that provides you the other side of a news article.
Want to see what they come up with at the latest installment of Debug Politics this weekend or get involved? Sign up here.

About the author: AlleyVoice

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