The current climate in America is hotter than normal. We're getting to see an even further temperature increase with the upcoming election. In fact only 20% of Americans feel united. Although our country is built on contrasting opinions, we are loosing our ability to properly debate. If debate is broken, hostility and misinformation ensues. Our part in all this? How can we bridge the divide in America when people only want convince rather than discuss.
The silver lining: we found that more than any age group, students form opinions in their college years. They are independent of their families bias, surrounded by new ideas, and ready to form their own. We found our target.
After a range of ideas we landed on creating an app for recreational debate. Creating a platform designed around civil, dare I say healthy debate.
The defining feature of the app is that it sets up 3 and only 3 users in a chat. One that sides left, right, and one that feels neutral on the selected topic. This construct prevents a group of people attacking an opinion, a common occurrence on social media.
On Squabl people can discuss almost anything they choose, not just politics. That means sports, pop culture, environment, or even chicken sandwiches. Within a Squabl, people can send news articles that are automatically checked for bias. In order to avoid nasty comments, the Squabl bot prevents users from sending slurs or aggressively explicit comments.
The app is primarily designed to be used by students, initially only allowing sign up with an EUID.
After pitching this concept twice the team and I took home the win, receiving a fund to get the idea started. It is currently in progress and further results will be published as it moves forward.