Innovation That Matters

New video platform aims to overcome the ‘echo chamber’ effect

Work & Lifestyle

QallOut is a new US-based social platform that allows users to engage in live, video debate with those outside their networks.

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You’ve probably seen a lot of discussion recently about fake news, divisiveness and ‘echo chambers’. We’ve published a number of technology innovations launched in response to this. Berlin-based startup that allows users to embed contextual information into the video upload, and this Facebook extension developed during the Princeton University hackathon tags news in posts as either ‘verified’ or ‘non-verified’. Now, the first online platform for live video debates, QallOut aims to combat the result of ‘echo chambers’ by offering individuals a medium to reach outside of their networks and debate issues they feel passionately about.

Think “Twitch” for debates, QallOut is a social platform that offers members the opportunity to debate one another through live video and to broadcast their video debate sessions in real-time, engaging with the serious issues that surface in light of major global events. Users can jump into existing debates, commenting on them as they happen. Those interested can also start a new debate, inputting a statement they agree with as the title of the debate and inviting others outside of their usual networks to get involved by adding in relevant hashtags. Debaters can then join in a ‘Head to Head’ debate, choosing from a ‘freeform’ format with no time limit, or a ‘self regulating’ discussion with a set time. Those not interested in going head to head can start a ‘community debate’ in which everyone is invited to upload videos and comments. Users can watch live, but all debates are also recorded making it possible to share videos using other social platforms. The most popular debates then make it to the QallOut front page. The technology also include interesting features such as polling and microphone control.

According to the website, QallOut aims “make great examples out of users that can engage in civilized, informative and passionate debates – regardless of their opinions.” Could this kind of technology be adopted by political institutions to encourage engagement?




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