Inspiration

Debunk is a chrome extension for community to collaborate and call out the spreading misinformation about the pandemic. With the rise of this global epidemic, there is an exponential rise in misinformation around it as well. Eg: A Phoenix man dies because of self administering chloroquine. There have been plenty of individual attempts from experts to falsify and debunk these claims as this US doctor did on twitter. Social media platforms try their best to have third party fact check and validate the authenticity of these claims but the volume of misinformation is challenging. This inspired us call out the community and crowdsource the validation through a simple chrome plugin.

What it does

  • The chrome plugin uses Google authentication to sign in.
  • The plugin detects from the url if you are on a social media (Facebook & Twitter supported) content, differentiating it form a feed of content.
  • On this detection plugin is active and clickable.
  • On clicking the plugin, it shows you number of confirms and debunks the content has gotten from the community.
  • Plugin allows you to cast your vote and debunk or confirm it.
  • For a content a user can cast only 1 vote.

How I built it

  • Google authentication for sign-ins.
  • Basic HTML and javascript for the plugin UI.
  • Google Firebase for a real time cloud DB.

Challenges I ran into

  • UI - All three of us are backend software engineers and no expertise in UI. So building even the simplest of user interface was a challenge.
  • Javascript - our team was rusty on javascript and took lot of reading docs and blogs to brush up.
  • Auth - having auth working with chrome extension and storing a unique user hash in firebase took some iterations to get working.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

  • Remote collaboration as all 3 members are at different locations, luckily in the same timezone.
  • Getting a fully functional MVP ready in 2 days.

What I learned

  • UX design and engineering is hard job! :p
  • The flexibility and minimal ramp up of a cloud DB like firebase.

What's next for Debunk - A crowd sourced social media content voting plugin

  • Increased weights on voting for verified professionals. Doctors, WHO and CDC experts votes should have more credibility than rest of the population. If we can verify the authenticity of a professional from their official email sign in, this would be possible.
  • A feed of community voted content where people can come and browse what has been myth-busted and what have been confirmed.
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