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Discussion Tool

This module will encourage evidence-based discussion of controversial topics.


Here are a few of the main features:


This area will store the various types of media being reviewed and discussed. There are many expected types of content - video news segments, written editorials, scientific studies, economic reports, and so on.

Within each piece of content, several different Snippets will be available - these are excerpts of content. This could be a few lines of text from written content, a short video clip from a longer video, etc... 

Where possible, we will store a copy of the content within our own systems. This ensures it will remain available if the original source is altered or removed. When it is not possible to store the content (e.g., copyright laws), we can still track and reference the content - linking out to external content, whenever possible.


This is the feedback regarding a piece of content, ideally from someone qualified within that topic.

Ideally, a review should be largely made up of Snippet Reviews. These accompany a review, and reference specific segments of the content (the snippets mentioned above). This encourages the writer of a review to reference the exact portions of the contents when referencing them - allowing the reader to easily view the context of the reviewer’s comments.


These are questions from the public, generally around a common topic theme.


Questions may be related to one another. For example, in the vaccine topic, there may be one larger “are the ingredients safe?” question, and many smaller “is X ingredient safe?” questions.


Each question allows for multiple answers to be submitted, with the community eventually deciding the best answer(s).


An answer will need to account for all of the content surrounding the topic - no cherry-picking a select few studies that agree with your point. This will normally mean filtering some records out, explaining why those filters make sense, and then talking about what the remaining information shows.


For example, an answer to a controversial scientific topic might write-off a collection of studies as “poorly designed experiments” (or some other attribute the community somewhat agrees on), arguing because we can't trust the results, they should be ignored. Now if all the remaining studies show something similar, that allows the discussion to continue regarding those studies.

Where are we at?

A prototype has been created for the Content and Review features. The initial version only has one document, which is meant to be a very basic introduction to the concepts involved. More example content is needed.

The Question and Answer features will be available in future version (once there is enough content to support them).

See the prototype here.

Note: The orange boxes at the top of each page act as a basic guide to explain what you are seeing, these would not be in the final app.

What is planned?

This is far from an exhaustive list, but here are a few of the important elements the final app should have (that the prototype does not):

  • Supporting a wide variety of content (video, audio, images, etc) for regular content storage and creating snippets

  • Create a better review process, based on the type of content reviewed (e.g., how might a scientist want to summarize a scientific paper?)

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