Who paid for that political ad? An app will tell you
The Super PAC App allows users to find out more information on political ads by simply holding up their phone to the ad while it's playing.
Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 12:05 PM
The app uses audio-recognition technology to identify the audio from the ad and show details about the ad sponsor. It usually requires about 12 second to respond. (Photo: AFP)
In the nasty world of U.S. politics, voters want to know: who is behind some of the ads they see on TV? Now, there's an app for that.
The Super PAC App is an iPhone application that allows users to find out more information about political ads in the 2012 presidential election by simply holding up their phone to the ad while it's playing.
Super PACs are political action committees that are independent of, but may support, a candidate. Recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings allow these groups to raise and spend unlimited funds without being subject to the limits of individual candidates.
The app uses audio-recognition technology from a company called TuneSat to identify the audio from the ad and show details of the ad sponsor. It usually needs around 12 second to function.
According to the app's website, co-founders Dan Siegel and Jennifer Hollett met in a social television class at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and developed the idea as a class project.
"Along the way, the small class project turned into their final class project, which turned into Super PAC App upon graduation," according to the website.
Users of the app can get information such as the source of the ad or the amount of money raised and spent by the organization, and then use their phones to rate the ads.
"We believe in transparency and easy access to trustworthy information," the website says. "Whether you lean right, left, up, or down this app's for you."
Copyright 2012 AFP Global Edition