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Tools for Transparency: Super PAC Sleuthing with Reddit

by Guest Blogger

Today, our guest post is written by Erik Martin (a.k.a. @hueypriest), Community Manager at reddit.com. Reddit.com is a community for finding what's new and interesting on the web, provided and decided by its users.

The community at reddit.com has pulled off some incredible examples crowdsourced altruism and research. From helping to enhance the surveillance tape of a murder to helping reunite a mother and son to finding the occasional fill-in sushi chef, redditors enjoy helping each other, and perhaps more importantly, they enjoy the actual hunt for information itself. Redditors have also been known to occasionally come together to address certain political issuies, most notably with reddit's PAC, now know as the Open Source Democracy Foundation. There are also plenty of examples of intrepid citizen reporters or semi-organized groups uncovering fraud and corruption with some clever sleuthing, including this recent one about two Floridians who brought foreclosure problems to light.

So, we at reddit are very excited by the potential of the new Super PAC Sleuth Project launched by The Sunlight Foundation and LittleSis. They have created a project where redditors and other internet sleuths can focus their powers on improving government transparency and accountability. The key to any crowdsourced project like this is for the process of collective sleuthing to be fun in and of itself. Of course, participants ultimately want to make a difference by increasing transparency, but if the project can tap into the challenge and fun of tracking down specific information online, truly amazing things are possible.