"We divide all truths that require justification into two kinds: those for which the proof can be carried out purely by means of logic and those for which it must be supported by facts of experience"
-- Gottlob Frege, Begriffsschrift (1879)
Our approach helps online social media platforms transition from an algorithmic engagement ranking of content to a ranking method that prioritizes information quality. This would present social media users with 'algorithmic choice' as the users can decide how content on the social media newsfeed is organized.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that our approach to online content rating and ranking is in the same spirit with the solution proposed in 2019 by Dr Stephen Wolfram to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee Hearing on Communication, Technology, Innovation and the Internet.
This expert testimony validates our approach to online content ranking.
Avram Turing is a non-partisan research-driven organization of analysts who summarize, label and rate the information quality of online written content.
Our hypothesis-focused online intervention hopes to add friction to low quality information and amplify high quality online content.
We also help online content consumers engage on the World Wide Web using more analytical thinking. We can work with educators, schools and other institutions of learning. We can also provide advisory work for civil society, public communication platforms (tech companies) and governments about online content engagement.
Avram Turing is currently developing/promoting its seed-stage Startup called ContentQual® : a consumer-facing and content-focused website/app/Web browser extension.
Through our research, in 2021, we coined two new concepts “non-information” and “off-information” then introduced them to the international research community and the information quality body of knowledge.
In short, we exist to help limit misinformation online, improve the quality of online content engagement while respecting freedom of speech.
Analysts at Avram Turing are led by the two co-founders with guidance from the advisor
For more information about our services, our research and for booking us to speak at public events, public lectures or short lectures at educational institutions (including libraries), contact us: click here
Increasingly, more people believe one point of view over another instead of checking for facts when an article is encountered online. Simple rule we need: read the whole piece before judging content and seek further information when necessary.
Avram Turing's ContentQual® uses an analytical content checklist that is descriptive: it does not endorse or condemn particular articles online. It upholds freedom of speech. The rating produced is objective. Readers are given a more informed choice to agree or disagree with content.
History is mutable: 'facts’ from the past can be discounted or broadened to include further research by people many years later. Our analytical checklist system is not prescriptive: it is not a ruling demanding readers accept or reject an online article rated by us. Nor is it that the checklist's scoring cannot be reconsidered. It can and it should. New information could reveal how truthful or not stated ‘facts’ are within an article and the scoring (and maybe the label too) issued previously would be reconsidered. Based on feedback, from the public, our system has been adjusted to reflect this.
Apparent ‘truths’ and opinions change over longer periods of time. What was once viewed as general, normal and consensus can change as we learn more and society progresses.
Uyi is a member of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) and the Canadian Association for Information Science (CAIS). He is a referee ('expert reviewer') for the Journal of Information Science (SAGE Publishing) and Misinformation Review (Harvard University). He is the co-author of the book Online Misinformation Analysis and Information Quality Theory (2021).
Paul Miller, PhD
Advisor, Analytical Thinking Methods
Paul is currently an associate professor at Brandeis University. He has written papers on the modeling of cognitive processes in scholarly journals. He is also the author of the textbook An Introductory Course in Computational Neuroscience (MIT Press, 2018). He is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, UK (first class honours) and the University of Bristol, UK (PhD in theoretical physics). He has taught high-school level students in Malawi, East Africa (working for Voluntary Service Overseas, UK).
Ojuolape Olatunji is a techie: an IT product designer and researcher. She is passionate about user interface/user experience (UI/UX) research and design. She has also worked in branding, advertising and as a social media influencer.
Guiding philosophy for our approach
Four guiding philosophies drive the work that Avram Turing analysts do:
- 'Harm Principle'
These four approaches are critical: a focus on facts, non-partisan, recognition that truth and belief can be subjective, upholding freedom of speech:
- Ludwig Wittgenstein was an Austrian-British philosopher. His 1922 book Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus states that the real world is made up of facts. And what can be stated or written down can be articulated clearly. Any proposition (found in a declarative sentence) devoid of facts or illogical is meaningless. Certain concepts are unsayable: they could be mystical or simply too controversial and devoid of facts or can't be verified, such things should be left unsaid or unwritten: they can only be shown or revealed.
- 'Ubuntu' is an African term for humanity, commonly articulated as “I am because we are” its emphasis is on the mutual dependence of humanity, we are all stakeholders in each other’s wellbeing and for the progress of mankind so we must work together.
- The 'harm principle' is a principle for the protection of liberty. As articulated by the British thinker John Stuart Mill in his 1859 essay On Liberty. The 'harm principle' states that the only instance a person's liberty (or speech) can be forcibly censored is to prevent harm to others. If there's no direct or indirect harm to others, no attempt should be made to restrict the freedom of speech.
- We understand that while 'facts' are objective and somewhat universal, 'truth' and 'belief' are subjective -- not necessarily universal. In our approach to 'truth' and 'belief', we follow the General Definition of information (GDI). The GDI defines 'information' as "data that is well-formed and meaningful." Our approach to online content analysis is distinctively Ramseyan (Frank Ramsey): we analyse information containing belief or truth as that which can lead to knowledge, decision or action.
The clearest expression of our approach and our work is detailed in our book 'Online Misinformation Analysis and Information Quality Theory' available on Amazon