Master's Thesis


A concept browser extension and debate platform that brings fact checking and verified experts to twitter conversations.

The Team: Katy Lewis, Caitlin Endyke, Jacob Berman, Innocent Ndubuisi-Obi

My Role: research, poster design, video and prototype Creation

A Pew Research Center Survey suggests that 62% of Americans get their news from social media. At the same time, social media platforms run algorithms that recommend and show only similar and related information in a user’s feed. What does
that mean for this country’s political discourse? Are the conversations we’re having online helping us better understand the issues, or are they confirming already held viewpoints?

This project explores how an innovative annotation tool can elevate the debates Americans are having about political news on social media. #walter is a news annotation tool that we hope will take users out of their social media
echo-chambers. Its horizontal presentation of user comments, discussion from vetted experts, and on-demand fact-checking will help users read news articles more critically and have more diverse, productive conversations about America’s most
pressing topics.

Full Research Paper


#walter desktop

Desktop Prototype

#walter mobile

Mobile Prototype

#walter poster


Video Submission


We surveyed 50 social media users to better understand how they evaluate expert qualification and trust in fact-checking mechanisms.

  • 64% of our survey participants said they would like fact-checked information in articles they read online, and 84% of respondents said that they trust the information that has been fact-checked.
  • 60% of people surveyed said they thought “many years of experience” would qualify someone as an expert.