Founder and CEO
When the dominant social platforms we use today were founded, it heralded a new era of interconnectedness. Old friends and family became reacquainted, and new communities formed organically. Strangers from around the country and the globe found connection and common cause. But initial design flaws also became business models, optimizing engagement over quality.
Nowhere is this phenomenon more acute than in news media. Roiled by the rapid adoption of social media as a prime distribution channel, publishers adapted to new incentives by maximizing click-through rates and shares to compete in an emerging digital ecosystem. As a result, headlines have drifted toward clickbait, news has been framed in ways to flatter and provoke, and careless reporting and editorial decisions have eroded public trust.
The availability of ratings for goods and services has become a staple of everyday life, but is conspicuously absent from journalism—an industry that shapes the way we interpret ourselves, each other, and the world around us. We believe people deserve a voice in that narrative. We believe greater visibility to public sentiment adds sorely needed context to current events. And that building tools that promote understanding and participation is key to building a better public square.