Its a walrus! No, its a giraffe! No, its Micgoat, a new app to debate controversial issues

Debating is at the core of a robust society — as are online social networks. When blended, they transmute each other into a minefield of negativity, abuse and shattering. With products today, we are either living in an echo assembly of like-minded people who agree with us all the time, or we’re duking it out in trench warfare format for little increase and few sentiments changed.

Micgoat is hoping to change that. The commodity, which officially launched its debate scaffold app on the App Store today, applies short-lived presidential debate-style videos to heighten the discussion around contentious topics. Customers of Micgoat can propose topics such as “will bitcoin crash” or “we should have universal basic income, ” and then make a short, one-minute video about the topic. Users who watch the video is available to respond with their own 30 -second videos.

The idea is that it is too easy to troll on conventional social networks , not to mention that bot networks can quickly devolve interesting debates. By underscoring video in its make, Micgoat’s goal is to persuade parties to talk to each other in a more human mode, abbreviating the disinhibition impression that comes from affixing text online.

Users can scroll through different debates on the platform

The app is the brainchild of Justin Zhen and Gregory Ugwi, the co-founders of Thinknum, a New York-based fiscal data and analysis platform, along with Marta Lopata, who joined the company last year and is now Micgoat’s CEO. Thinknum has previously collected a seed round from Pejman Mar Ventures.

Having watched the 2016 U.S. presidential election together with debates on engineering topics like bitcoin, the three realized that they shared a common resentment around the quickly degrading tone of debates online. “I is believed that a great debate consider this to be is when “theres” two beings from completely different backgrounds who are able to come together and talking here contentious issue, ” Lopata explained to me. Too often, lying social networks just don’t furnish that sort of quality.

Lopata, whose background is in entrepreneurship and who devoted five years old in Asia, believes that a commodity like Micgoat has the opportunity to turn the tide. She emphasized that there are multiple features to most deliberations, and that the combined effects of video and depicting two sides is a potent antidote to the sentiment that each of our own scenes is automatically correct.

While politics is what most people think of when they sounds disputes, engineering and investment are manufactures where rages can be even more intense. Those industries likewise are very familiar to Thinknum, whose buyers are financial analysts.

Zhen said, “Since we have information and communication technologies in place, people are able to dialogue athletics, or neighbourhood politics. Right now, “were not receiving” efficient direct for regional legislators to get up in front of their constituents, since Fox News and CNBC don’t shield those hastens. We can be exactly part of the everyday dialogue.”

Thinknum staff are helping with the produce development and engineering of such products today. Lopata says that “Right we are currently view a balance of cooperating with each other, and long-term we can see us revolving out.” There are three full-time hires on Micgoat, and another seven representatives acquired from the core Thinknum team.

Long-term, the team hopes to add more “gamification” features to encourage everyone in the community to engage with the disagreements. In add-on, the team is optimizing its research algorithms so users will be able to better find the most interesting debates. Zhen were of the view that audio transcription would allow for better researching while maintaining the video suffer of the app. The firm also intends to exhaust an Android version shortly.

So far, abuse does not been a problem, according to the company. Zhen believes that the combined effects of Facebook identity and demo one’s is now facing the app is reducing the abuse that can be rife on other programmes. As the platform scales up, the team intends to be very careful to ensure that the community stays positive even when discussing hard challenges.

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