Marketplace has a new podcast for kids, "Million Bazillion!" EPISODE OUT NOW

Sussing facts via app

Marc Sanchez Aug 23, 2012

SuperPacApp is a new app for iPhone and Android phones that says it can help you tell whether a campaign ad is being truthful. The app comes out of the MIT Media lab and the folks at Knight Foundation and works similar to music identifying apps like Shazam or SoundHound. So, like those music apps, when you see or hear an ad, you hold your phone up and SuperPacApp “listens” then searches databases for honesty. Oh, I wish there was a database of honesty.

Tech Crunch explains:

The app pulls in data from non-partisan watchdog groups, such as PolitiFact and, which routinely rate the accuracy of ads and political statements. Since there’s no central database, the app team has to find all of the commercials manually. “We’re plugged in with those journalists and they’re feeding us ads on a one-off basis. And then, separately, on our own, we’re signed up for all the newsletters and press sheets that alert us to when new ad’s are put out there,” Siegel told CNN.

Cool but clunky, because unless you sit around with the app open waiting to hear a commercial, you’re probably going to miss out. I suppose people have DVRs now, though, so I guess you could not skip all the commercials and wait around to fact check political ads, if that’s your thing.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.