Harnessing the power of annotation to foster discussion and dialogue across the web.

The Problem

The news stories we encounter online are too often incomplete, or lack context, or contain information that’s partially incorrect, intentionally misleading, or flat-out false. But most of us, lacking relevant expertise or specific knowledge, have know way of knowing what’s true and what’s false. On the rare occasions, the news source runs a correction or a critical letter to the editor, but the chances we’ll notice are pretty slim. In many cases, readers could me away poorly informed — without even knowing it.

The Solution

Hypothesis wants to rectify this problem by adding a “conversation layer” over the entire web. The nonprofit's free, open annotation technology enables a global community of users, individually or in collaboration, to conduct sentence-level note taking or critique on top of virtually any online content, from news, blogs, video, scientific articles, and books, to ballot initiatives, legislation, and more. Annotators build up greater credibility and influence within the community based on track record, and public annotations amount to an evolving discussion embedded directly in texts. The result is that readers engage with texts with deeper understanding and a fuller context -- consistent with the Hypothesis' mission to "work with others across the world to advance human understanding for the public."

Stage of Development

  • Early Stage
  • Established Prototype
  • Scaling
  • Other

Organization to Receive Funds


This project was nominated by: