This is huge. It’s what media following the grain of the Internet looks like (if only as a preliminary glimpse).

Here‘s how it works:

WeSearchr has a select group of editors that we call “Askers” who watch the news cycle and figure out what people want to know. […] If an Asker believes that there is enough interest in a question, they will create a “Bounty” as a reward for the answer to the question. The minimum amount of funding to trigger a Bounty is called a “reserve”. […] Members of the WeSearchr community can browse the bounties and donate money to fund a bounty, like other crowdfunding sites. […] Once a Bounty hits its reserve, it is funded and WeSearchr will accept answers from people that have the answers to that question. […] WeSearchr will review the submissions and check them for veracity. […] If the submission fulfills the terms of the Bounty, WeSearchr will assign the reward and release the information to the Asker and assigned news outlets for distribution. […] 30 days after the story’s release, WeSearchr pays the Bounty.
75% of the Bounty goes to the person(s) that deliver a solution.
10% goes to the Asker
15% goes to WeSearchr

So: A decentralized market place for journalistic research.

The conception alone crosses an honesty threshold. There is no longer any need for meta-lies about the essential character of contemporary journalism (as a political apparatus screened by an increasingly-ludicrous pretense to disinterested ‘news’ curation). All research is interested, and its incentives are now openly formalized. The result is a germinal assassination market for hidden things. It targets enemy secrets. The information warfare that media have always been ceases to be promoted as anything else.

For the first time in over a century, it is now possible to envisage journalists making an honest living (by fulfilling private research contracts). This type of transition only goes in one direction. A piece of the future just came into view.

May 26, 2016admin 45 Comments »

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45 Responses to this entry

  • Brett Stevens Says:

    Members of the WeSearchr community can browse the bounties and donate money to fund a bounty, like other crowdfunding sites.

    Sadly, this is the demotist idea in yet another form.

    Find excellent people, put them in charge, and ignore the audience — they have no idea what they want.


    Pax Dickinson Reply:

    It’s not demotist, because it isn’t based on the concept of one-man-one-vote. It’s a market, it’s based on the concept of one-dollar-one-vote. Completely different.


    Alrenous Reply:

    An interesting symmetry though, eh?

    Markets = demotism + discipline, where discipline means if you vote wrong you lose your vote.


    wu-wei Reply:

    In a market, your “votes” are also fungible, transferable, formalized property. There’s a reason why markets are usually reflective of reality, versus consensus democracy which tends toward positive feedback loops, and madness of crowds.

    Of course, markets are not completely immune to positive feedback loops either, but generally are a lot less destructive. No matter how you look at it, a housing bubble just isn’t the same as Stalin.

    Alrenous Reply:

    Housing bubbles are tiny Stalins resulting from price-fixing interest rates. Artificially lowering interest rates creates an arbitrage opportunity relative to house values, and since the loans the speculators take out don’t raise interest rates, you get a positive feedback loop on housing prices.

    Brett Stevens Reply:

    It’s a market, it’s based on the concept of one-dollar-one-vote.

    Unless you strictly control who has the dollars, this empowers the herd in two ways: (1) masses of single-dollar donations from idiots (2) people made wealthy by masses of idiots — think entertainers and dot-com millionaires here.


    Alrenous Reply:

    Gnon strictly controls who has the dollars.

    If masses of idiots were herd-empowerment, then the anti-interest group interest group would be a viable business. Take, say, $20 a year from most households, use it for lobbying.

    Put it this way: if you think it would work, well, you can be my co-founder.

    cyborg_nomade Reply:

    admin has answered to that recently


    but it’s important to bear in mind that democracies that worked were democracies of owner-citizens. the principle of “no representation without taxation”


    Aodh Mor MacRaynall Reply:

    Ahh Brett, yer lettin’ yer first principles get in th way a winnin a war. War’s aren’t won by logical purity but by gettin in th cold and mud and fightin with sticks and knives.


    Posted on May 26th, 2016 at 4:06 pm Reply | Quote
  • WeSearchr | Neoreactive Says:

    […] WeSearchr […]

    Posted on May 26th, 2016 at 4:11 pm Reply | Quote
  • Callowman Says:

    Interesting idea, but the current research project are largely a load of sensationalist crap. Nick Denton sex tape, indeed. There are things I’d like to see. That’s not one of them.


    admin Reply:

    That was the “if only as a preliminary glimpse” reservation. Don’t be distracted from the machinery, which is what really matters (and it does really matter).


    michael Reply:

    Sounds like more ministry of Wikipedia, Whats printed about a thing is one thing whats not is another, what thing is chosen or not chosen another. when and where it is printed is another, what the style book says is another,whether it is reprinted another, if its a paper of record and peer reviewed is another, and so on.
    If it will say something like african niggers have 65 IQs and austra niggers even lower and when you mix them with whites they can even average as high as 85 Then Ill know its the real deal because that is the bedrock of liberalism.
    What I want to see is open source it cant be edited you cant be banned you can be anonymous etc. I want google FB Twitter email cellphones blogs and my search etc etc etc cathedral proof. This idea could work as you no doubt think it might in a tech universe thats free but as long as its known who owns it even if they turn full shitlord they can be got and then so can users. They have already outlawed free speech in practically every western country but US and are recording everything what good is free speech if theres a gun to your head.


    michael Reply:

    Ill tell you what if you believe in the potential of this before this gets traction create one with no board of directors pure algorithm go head to head with them on the platform that truth doesnt need a curator or board of directors.

    Posted on May 26th, 2016 at 4:42 pm Reply | Quote
  • Johan Schmidt Says:

    This will turn out to be just as pozzed as Quora – which, by the way, just posted an answer by Hillary Clinton to the question “How do I become a politician?” Now, I didn’t actually read her answer, as my jimmies were already quite rustled that day, but I’m guessing it wasn’t “Marry an ambitious male politician, use intimidation to cover up his philandering and rapes, and ride his coat-tails all the way to the top”.

    Still, at least this “WeSearchr” nonsense, by consistently picking the wrong answers and yet continuing to grow in size and prestige, might serve to shut up the “marketise everything!! price system cures all ills” crowd for two seconds.


    Zimriel Reply:

    I suspect it unlikely that wesearchr will be infested by SJWs, idiots, or wets anytime soon. This system comes with a hierarchy: the Askers – which means the two bearded guys who founded the thing – get to choose what’s a real question. If your question is “who is the badest Celebertiy” then it probably won’t get axed.


    Phil Sandifer Reply:

    Wait, you mean the set of comically brain-dead bounties currently on the front page are *curated*? That’s not just “this took off first among the most cretinous chunk of the right-wing” but a product of editorial selection?

    Oh dear.


    Xoth Reply:

    Don’t let the sun set on you in NRx, stranger.

    Posted on May 26th, 2016 at 5:26 pm Reply | Quote
  • Salty Pickles Says:

    All hail the mighty Duck! But does “decentralized” apply here, if Pax and Ginger are a single point of failure? I guess it’s decentralized like Ebay or Uber, which is a step in right direction versus previous…


    Posted on May 26th, 2016 at 5:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • James A. Says:

    >If an Asker believes that there is enough interest in a question, they will create a “Bounty” as a reward for the answer to the question.

    Going by the Obama/Ayers bounty, I’m guessing it operates the other way around as well (i.e. someone with dirt on a public figure can contact the staff and ask for a bounty to be set up). Is that correct? Or did the editors acquire the evidence themselves?



    We've seen this before Reply:

    How is babby formed?


    Pax Dickinson Reply:

    Yes, if a whistleblower has information but needs to be compensated for it in order to allow it to be published, we’ll create a bounty and publish the information only if it reaches the reserve amount.


    Posted on May 26th, 2016 at 5:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:

    Alternatively a proof machine for the proposition: there is no market for truth.

    Interesting either way.


    Pax Dickinson Reply:

    I built it and I have no idea what will happen, but yes I expect it to be interesting either way.

    What more can a man ask for?


    Grotesque Body Reply:

    Are you redpilled?


    frank Reply:

    Dude, he’s the Duck.

    Brett Stevens Reply:

    Red Pill is yesterday’s Blue Pill.

    Only Black Pill is the future.

    Red Pill: “everyone acts in self-interest.”

    Black Pill: “sodomize the weak.”

    Posted on May 26th, 2016 at 7:04 pm Reply | Quote
  • wu-wei Says:

    I’m not entirely sure how this prevents itself from becoming a monetized Politi-Fact. Politi-Fact is so left-biased it’s not even funny. Of course, I’m sure some commie retard would retort that it’s actually right-biased or something.


    Aeroguy Reply:

    I agree,
    Verifying the truth can be harder than finding it (knowing someone’s a crook vs proving someone’s a crook). Certainty is an aspiration rather than a destination. I fully expect a variable scale for the confidence required to award a bounty.


    Posted on May 26th, 2016 at 8:06 pm Reply | Quote
  • John Hannon Says:

    Be interesting to see whether it can get those 28 redacted pages of the 9/11 Commission Report made public (the pages detailing specific foreign support for the hijackers).
    Just $4950 needed to hit the reserve.


    Posted on May 26th, 2016 at 8:50 pm Reply | Quote
  • Oliver Cromwell Says:

    If I understand this correctly it is still structurally flawed because questions can only be posed by employees of the company. The problem has always been which questions may and may not be posed, not unwillingness of people to answer un-PC questions for pay. But it is on the right lines.


    Pax Dickinson Reply:

    Right now we are signing up 3rd party Askers who will also be able to place bounties on the site. The restriction is intended as a temporary measure as we grow the site out, the eventual vision is to open it up as widely as possible and allow the market to decide what deserves funding.

    Some of the rules we’ve implemented are just intended for the growth period, the ultimate goal we’re actually targeting for the product is still quite a long way off.


    Posted on May 27th, 2016 at 8:50 am Reply | Quote
  • cyborg_nomade Says:

    didn’t know about the Askers, that isn’t in the original assassination politics model. wonder what its effects will be. but they can be surely automatized very quickly in their functions, which is makes it less important. the structure of formalization is certainly the most impressive piece of machinery here.


    Posted on May 27th, 2016 at 11:17 am Reply | Quote
  • Erebus Says:

    Wesearchr is interesting, but there is one obvious issue with the current model: It is not nearly decentralized enough. There are more than a few choke points. Wesearchr and its users appear to be very open to criminal prosecution and civil litigation. Needless to say, it would be dangerous and foolish to use it as a platform for whistle-blowing… to say nothing of more interesting things.

    This is based on a reading of: https://www.wesearchr.com/privacy
    While also noting that the company is US-based, and presumably its servers are also located in the USA.

    There’s a less obvious problem: Their entire business structure is heavily biased in favor of the “Askers,” who simply function as gate-keepers. If a question they approve is answered, the Askers get a 10% cut of the bounty, and they get “the right to publish” (i.e. sell) the findings in a news outlet of their choice. The people who contribute to the bounty financially get absolutely nothing. (!!) The researchers or journalists who come up with the answers only get 75%. It’s off-balance; the gate-keepers are rewarded far too richly. Wesearchr should just hire a few interns for the gate-keeper job, and pay them a stipend. Findings (like Elizabeth Warrens 23andMe results, for instance,) should be sold to the highest-bidder, and the people who financed the bounty should get a proportionate cut of the reward.


    Oliver Cromwell Reply:

    Actually rewarding the gate-keepers richly papers over the problems created by having gate-keepers at all, as people are more likely to pose un-PC questions when there is a lot of money up for grabs than otherwise.

    Copyrighting the resulting research is bad, though. If I am funding one of these things it is going to be primarily because I want the information to be spread to lots of people, not just because I want the information myself. The information should not be sold at all – it has already been “sold” to the bounty-posters.


    Erebus Reply:

    >”The information should not be sold at all – it has already been “sold” to the bounty-posters.”

    The way things look right now, Wesearchr’s Askers can and will sell that information to whichever outlet they please — and pocket the proceeds. The people who finance the bounty will get nothing, particularly as that information is bound to go public, which means that they don’t even get exclusive access to verified information. (An “exclusive access” market would be an interesting thing. If properly structured and crypto-secured, it might represent a way to distribute the products of industrial espionage.)

    …Surely there must be a way to further incentivize financial backers?

    I think that, in general, Wesearchr is a lot like Innocentive. The primary difference is that the companies which initiate and finance bounties in Innocentive receive exclusive access to extremely valuable information. Indeed, the problem with Innocentive is that the information is typically worth vastly more than the bounty. This may also be a problem for Wesearchr. The easiest way for Wesearchr to mitigate this problem, and incentivize financial backers, is to always sell the publication rights of information to the highest bidder, and split profits between the bounty’s successful researcher and its financial backers along pre-determined lines. The worst possible way to handle this problem is to do what they’re doing right now: Grant the gate-keeper total control & all profits from the sale of information to media outlets.


    Posted on May 27th, 2016 at 12:12 pm Reply | Quote
  • frank Says:

    > A decentralized market place for journalistic research.

    No. It’s a centralized market place, and by the very nature of the actual intermediation carried out by weserachr — which is the real thing that makes it valuable — it can only exist in this form.

    Wesearchr staff intermediates the transaction by making reasonably sure that the information is legit. They play a very unique and irreplaceable part in the workflow. They can’t be replaced by other humans, let alone automatization. It’s a unique job that requires unique qualifications including impeccable reputation for being trustworthy and truthful.

    This is not a formalization of a machinery. It’s a one-of-a-kind machine.

    @Erebus & @Oliver

    Wesearchr makes sure that a bounty is always published (hence askers should have access to a reasonably good publishing medium). Backers of a bounty get to have information. They don’t back bounties for financial gain. They purchase truthful information, which is then published by the asker or wesearchr, and then becomes part of the commons.


    Posted on May 27th, 2016 at 12:52 pm Reply | Quote
  • Ryan Says:

    wesearchr is going to defend conservatism by asking for Denton’s sex tape.

    I can imagine the deposition:

    “Now the reason why you requested his sex tape was because of the Hulk Hogan case, correct?”


    “You are aware that gawker lost?”


    “So you are aware that a sex tape doesn’t have public interest…”


    Pax Dickinson Reply:

    I think possessing a sex tape of Denton would be like possessing an atomic bomb. The best use of it is as a deterrent and if you ever have to use it you probably already lost.


    Ryan Reply:

    Your financing system is still moronic.

    Too much diffusion, should have people be able to donate to a common pool or to the first won bounty.


    Pax Dickinson Reply:

    There is going to be donation to a common pool as soon as we have time to build it, it’s always been on the roadmap.

    I don’t usually read the comments here, is everyone always a negative asshole or are you just sharing a common period this week?

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    @Pax Dickinson

    Don’t worry about it, this is just the INTJ aggregator where even stuff that’s good isn’t good enough.

    Posted on May 27th, 2016 at 3:42 pm Reply | Quote
  • Seth Largo Says:

    All research is interested, and its incentives are now openly formalized.

    The most important feature of this machinery, in my view, is that it records the traces of that interest forever and for all to see. All research is interested, yes, it has been said before, but now the notion takes empirical form on a server. (Which is probably admin’s point.)


    Posted on May 28th, 2016 at 4:17 am Reply | Quote
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