FAQ

General

What is Our.News?
 
Our.News is a social news network and thought rewards platform that crowdsources news validation, and rewards participating users with OUR tokens. Our.News has redefined news by building a community where users are rewarded for thinking critically and validating the news.
How does Our.News work?
 
Our.News works by rewarding the crowd for thinking critically and validating news from any source. Users earn points for every interaction, which can be traded in for OUR tokens.
How does Our.News differ from other news websites?
 
Most other social news websites and news aggregators do not consider the veracity of the news they republish, nor do they allow users to participate in the process of validating news, nor do they compensate users for their participation. Our.News is different, it’s a social information platform where users directly determine the veracity of news and content online, and receive benefits and rewards for their participation.
Does it cost anything to participate?
 
No. Everything on Our.News is free for users. Users are actually paid in OUR tokens to participate.
Can I earn digital tokens with Our.News? How?
 
Yes! You earn OUR tokens on Our.News by earning points, and trading them in for tokens.
  • Submitting News – By posting news URLs into the system, you earn points.
  • Rating News – By rating news articles, you earn points.
  • Commenting – By commenting on news articles, you earn points.
  • Adding Sources – By adding sources to news articles, you earn points
  • Voting on Sources – By up/down voting sources on news articles, you earn points
  • Inviting Friends – By inviting friends from Profile->Invite Friends, you earn points
  • Adding Friends – By adding friend connections within the Our.News platform
  • Reporting Security Issues – By reporting and helping us resolve potential security issues
  • Purchasing – Users can purchase OUR tokens for $1 each by sending ETH to our ETH wallet:  0x00f9459eefD6f50121A615996C3143C0033c0095. We will send OUR tokens within three days.
Where do OUR tokens come from?
 
During the Our.News Beta stage, 10,000,000 OUR Tokens (Ethereum ERC20) have been minted and are held being held in an escrow Ethereum wallet managed by Our.News. Our.News distributes tokens on a monthly basis to users who have redeemed points or purchased them. OUR Token Address: 0x8d868b46D3fB6D15891412854302AeaD8130D402 OUR Escrow Wallet: 0x0000541acc887715Eb7e792aD7DcbfB07a4A0cE6
Where does the value come from?
 
Our.News is a points system. Users earn points by undertaking various activities, and trade them in for OUR tokens. Ultimately, the public will be able to buy, sell, and trade these tokens on public Ethereum markets. By analogy, Our.News is a game system where users compete to earn points by validating news and other digital content online and adding value to the platform. The rewards people earn are tokens that may have market value and will ultimately be readily tradable.

Content Validation

How does the News and Content validation process work?
 
News and other content submitted to Our.News is validated by the crowd, as follows:
  • Any user can rate content based on four factors:  Spin, Trust, Accuracy, and Relevance
  • The users ratings are then weighted based on their Cred weights
  • Ratings are additionally weighted based on Bias Detection algorithms that:
    • Check how long someone read the content before rating it
    • Check the users ratings history and adjust for patterned bias
  • All the weighted ratings are totaled and then divided by total possible rating score
How does news get entered into the system?
 
All registered users can add news URL’s using the Submit News link at the top of each page. Additionally, Our.News automatically scrapes news from leading sources on a daily basis.
What are Sources and where do they come from?
 
Sources are links to outside URLs which either support or refute the content in question. Our.News automatically attempts to scrape sources when new content is added, and users can also submit their own sources by clicking the Add Source button on any content page (earning OUR tokens for doing so!)
Can I rate the same news or content multiple times?
 
Yes, you can rate any news or content however many times as you wish. But, the system only counts your latest rating of any content towards the validation scores. And you can only earn a maximum of four points for rating any content (one for each of Spin, Trust, Accuracy, and Relevance).
How can you ensure political neutrality?
 
Our.News is absolutely committed to being a 100% politically neutral platform. All people of all beliefs are welcome at Our.News, and all content validation is driven by our users. Our.News staff may participate in the Open News Validation process by submitting news, ratings, sources, comments, etc., however, they do so under the same terms and processes as all users and do not receive any extra weight or points for their participation. Bias Minimization processes apply to all users and are described elsewhere in this FAQ.
How do you stop bias in the ratings?
 
Every human has at least some innate bias, and we therefore assume all ratings will have a bias. In general, the more ratings an article has, the less individual bias matters. And, we’ve built a variety of Bias Detection processes to further minimize its impact. This includes weighting ratings based on user behaviors, such as:
  • Length of time a user read the article before rating
  • How many sources the user reviewed before rating
  • Did the user submit their own sources
  • Does the user have a history of patterned bias

Not all of these processes are fully implemented yet in the Beta version.
Is there any automated rating or validation happening?
 
In certain rare cases, Our.News will automatically submit content ratings:
  • Content from publishers known to only publish satire receives one “Satire” rating
  • Content identified by publishers as an opinion receives one “Opinion” rating

Community

What is the Our.News Community?
 
Our.News is driven by a community of users who are passionate about finding the truth in news. All political views are welcome, and everyone is invited to join the community by registering for a free account.
What Community features are available?
 
Our.News features a complete social news network, where users can:

  • See what the Community is doing by viewing the public Wall
  • Post news articles and status updates on the public (or your private) Wall
  • Follow other users to make it easy to see their public updates & activities
  • Add Friends who can see your private Wall and profile information
  • Profile to highlight your background & community participation
  • Message other users privately using secure messaging tools
  • Discuss the news or any topic through Comments on any article
  • Engage directly with the Our.News team and other users using Slack

Accounts

How do I create an account?
 
Click on the Join button at the top of Our.News to get started. Users creating an account with an email address must verify their email address prior to starting. After verifying your email address, you will be able to immediately login and participate.
What information do I need to provide in order to create an account?
 
We only require your name and email address. However, as part of our Creds system to prevent SPAM, users who verify their identity, whether thru phone number verification, linking to social media accounts, and/or other verification methods on the Creds page, will receive substantially more weight (and more points).
Can I update my email or phone number?
 
Yes. First, login and then click on Profile -> Settings.
Can I create more than one account?
 
To ensure the integrity of the Open News Validation process, each user is only permitted one account. Creation of multiple accounts could result in the immediate revocation of all points and unissued tokens.
Can I delete or deactivate my account?
 
Accounts can not be deleted, but you may request deactivation by emailing support@our.news. Deactivation will set your profile as private and disable login, but will not remove any previously submitted content, ratings, sources, comments, or otherwise from the system.
Am I required to verify my identity?
 
No, but it is highly recommended. Verification of your identity will earn you more Creds, which weights your ratings and earns you more points, meaning you will earn more OUR tokens. In certain cases, we may require users to verify their identity (for public figures and in case fraud is suspected).
How do I see or update my Creds?
 
Click Profile->Creds or click here: Creds

Navigation

What do the Headlines, Latest News, Trending, and Wall links show?
 
These links show various ways to sort Our.News content.
  • Headlines – Most recent posts categorized as major news headlines
  • Latest News – Most recent posts across all news categories
  • Trending – Popular, recent posts sorted by trending score
  • Wall – A live feed of all activities our users are doing on the site
How do I change my avatar image and other profile info?
 
After logging in, click on Profile, then click Edit Profile.
How do I see or update my Creds?
 
Click Profile->Creds or click here: Creds

Reading

Are RSS feeds available?
 
Yes! RSS feeds of all News content is available as follows: Top Feeds
  • Headlines – https://our.news/category/headlines/feed/
  • Latest News – https://our.news/feed
  • Trending – https://our.news/feed/trending
Ratings Feeds
  • Most Spin – https://our.news/feed/most-spin
  • Most False – https://our.news/feed/most-false
Category & Subcategory Feeds All categories & subcategories are available and follow this format:
  • Business – https://our.news/category/business/feed/
  • Science – https://our.news/category/science/feed/
    • Internet – https://our.news/category/science/internet/feed/
    • Tech – https://our.news/category/tech/internet/feed/
    • etc

Posting

What can users post to Our.News?
 
Our.News is an open platform meant to host and welcome any news content. Users can post any news link from any source, national, local, independent, or self produced. Our.News will attempt to automatically scrape the content into the system. Non-news posts may be removed by Our.News moderators.
Why does my news post look messed up?
 
After a user posts an URL, the Our.News system attempts to scrape the content. In rare cases, this may not work well and gibberish or irrelevant content may make it into the system. Our moderators periodically review content, and will typically make corrections to bad scrapes within a day.
Can I remove a news post?
 
In general, news cannot be removed by users after it’s been posted. This is because other users may have added sources, rated the content, or added comments to earn OUR tokens, and it would not be fair to retroactively remove their data (or their points). If you’ve made a post in error, or find that a post violates our Terms of Service, please notify us on Slack or by emailing support@our.news and our team will review it.
How often can I post content?
 
You can post as often as you like! However, posting new articles earns you less OUR tokens than other content validating actions such as adding sources, and rating the content.

Rating

How do I rate the news?
 
There are several ways to rate news articles on Our.News:
  • News Feeds – click the RATE link underneath any article.
  • News Feeds – tap or hover over any rating box to rate one metric only
  • Article View – click the RATE THIS ARTICLE button.
  • Article View – tap or hover over any rating box to rate one metric only
There are four metrics you can rate for any news:
  • Spin – Does this article have political bias, left or right?
  • Trust – How much do you trust the source?
  • Accuracy – Is the article factually true?
  • Relevance – What kind of news is this?
    • Options – Clickbait, Opinion, Not News, Real News, -or- Satire
 
Can I rate Publishers directly?
 
No. Publisher statistics are the aggregate ratings of all their articles which are in the system. You can rate individual articles from Publishers, but not the Publisher directly.
Can I rate Authors directly?
 
No. Author statistics are the aggregate ratings of all their articles which are in the system. You can rate individual articles from Authors, but not the Author directly.
What does “Needs More Ratings” mean?
 
When displayed on an article, it means there are not yet enough ratings entered for a scored to be calculated. You can still Rate, and scores will appear when the minimum ratings threshold is reached.
Are my content ratings public?
 
No. We only display aggregate total ratings. Individual ratings cannot be seen publicly. When you rate something, an activity item appears on your Wall and the public Wall, however, the ratings displayed are the aggregate ratings. You can manually remove these too if desired, by clicking the Delete button.
How do you stop bias in the ratings?
 
Every human has at least some innate bias, and we therefore assume all ratings will have a bias. In general, the more ratings an article has, the less individual bias matters. And, we’ve built a variety of Bias Detection processes to further minimize its impact. This includes weighting ratings based on user behaviors, such as:
  • Length of time a user read the article before rating
  • How many sources the user reviewed before rating
  • Did the user submit their own sources
  • Does the user have a history of patterned bias

Not all of these processes are fully implemented yet in the Beta version.
Is there any automated rating or validation happening?
 
In certain rare cases, Our.News will automatically submit content ratings:
  • Content from publishers known to only publish satire receives one “Satire” rating
  • Content identified by publishers as an opinion receives one “Opinion” rating

Education

Can my school district integrate the Our.News platform?
 
Yes! Our.News encourages critical thinking skills about the news, and the system can be used and integrated for free at any school system. To inquire about details or setup an integration, email us at info@our.news or Join us on Slack.
How can educators use Our.News in class exercises?
 
There are several possible approaches, including:
    • News Evaluation – Educator selects an article within the Our.News system (or, posts a new one from any news publisher) and asks students to read and think critically about it. Students can review sources and add their own, review publisher information, rate the news on various factors, and add comments as to why they reached the conclusion they did.
    • Publisher Evaluation – Educator selects a publisher within the Our.News system and asks student to review the publisher information, and answer questions like: Is this publisher trustworthy? Is this publisher bias? Why or why not?
    • Source Evaluation – Educator selects an article within the Our.News system, and asks students to review the listed sources to see if they’re good sources, or not. Students then upvote/downvote the existing sources on Our.News, and may also find and add new sources relevant to the article.
Who is Educational Vistas?
 
For over 24 years, Educational Vistas, Inc. (EVI) has developed and provided leading educational management systems and in-district services to assist schools in improving student performance. EVI has recently partnered with Our.News to integrate the validated news feed, and news validation process, directly into school software systems. This service is available without additional cost to all EVI clients.
What about student privacy?
 
The privacy of students is of utmost importance, and is diligently protected by Our.News. All software is compliant with the New York State Parents Bill of Rights, and all data collected from students (and all users under the age of 18) will never be shared, sold, transmitted, or copied to any outside party in any way.

Developers

Can I get involved and help develop Our.News?
 
Yes! Join us on Slack and introduce yourself.
Is Our.News code open-source?
 
Not yet, but we intend the production release to be open-source.
Is there a JSON-LD schema available?
 
Yes! All ratings data is presented in JSON-LD format for all news articles. You can see this in the source of any post, or learn more about it here on our Schema Definition Page.
Is Our.News on Github?
 
Yes, but during our Beta stage our repo is private.
Are RSS feeds available?
 
Yes! RSS feeds of all News content is available as follows: Top Feeds
  • Headlines – https://our.news/category/headlines/feed/
  • Latest News – https://our.news/feed
  • Trending – https://our.news/feed/trending
Ratings Feeds
  • Most Spin – https://our.news/feed/most-spin
  • Most False – https://our.news/feed/most-false
Category & Subcategory Feeds All categories & subcategories are available and follow this format:
  • Business – https://our.news/category/business/feed/
  • Science – https://our.news/category/science/feed/
    • Internet – https://our.news/category/science/internet/feed/
    • Tech – https://our.news/category/tech/internet/feed/
    • etc

Authors

How are Author statistics calculated?
 
Author statistics are the aggregate ratings from all their articles in the system.
Can I rate Authors directly?
 
No. Author statistics are the aggregate ratings of all their articles which are in the system. You can rate individual articles from Authors, but not the Author directly.

Publishers

How do I correct info on my Publisher page?
 
To correct information on your Publisher page, you must first Claim the profile. After verification, you will be able to manage your Publisher information and content.
How do I claim my Publisher profile?
 
To Claim your Publisher profile, you must first Register for an account and include your phone number. Then, click “Claim your profile” on your Publisher profile. Our.News will contact you for verification.
Someone else has claimed my Publisher profile.
 
Please contact us on Slack or email support@our.news and include your phone number.
How are Publisher statistics calculated?
 
Publisher statistics are the aggregate ratings from all their articles in the system.
What is your Copyright policy?
Our.News respects the intellectual property rights and other proprietary rights of others. We may, in appropriate circumstances and at our discretion, remove certain content or disable access to content that appears to infringe the copyright or other intellectual property rights of others. If you believe that your copyright has been violated by material available through Our.News, please email support@our.news with:
  • Identification of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed;
  • The exact URL and location on screen of the material in question;
  • Your address, telephone number, and email address;
  • A statement by you that you have a good-faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law;
  • A statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the owner of the copyright interest involved or are authorized to act on behalf of that owner;
  • Your electronic or physical signature.
Can we add our news feed to Our.News?
 
All registered users can submit any news article, one article at a time. But if you’re a publisher and would like us to automatically import your news feed, please contact us by emailing info@our.news.
Will you remove our news or content from your system?
 
Except in rare cases, we do not remove public news or content. We believe that the public has a fundamental right to read and validate any public news or content. Our legal people tell us that “Fair Use” principles apply. If you still want us to remove something, email support@our.news with a very good reason.
Can we re-publish news articles from Our.News?
 
Yes! We actively encourage this and will be adding sections soon to this FAQ to describe our public RSS feed system and how you can use that to integrate with your site.
Can I rate Publishers directly?
 
No. Publisher statistics are the aggregate ratings of all their articles which are in the system. You can rate individual articles from Publishers, but not the Publisher directly.

Economics

What can I do with my OUR tokens?
 
  • Future use – You’ll be able to use them to purchase premium news features thru Our.News.
  • Future value – Our aim is for these tokens to be tradable on public Ethereum exchanges in the future.
  • Donate – Send some back to Our.News to give our team a little bonus.
  • Transfer – Send to your friends OUR tokens (to any Ethereum ERC20 compatible wallet).
Are any tokens distributed outside of this system?
 
No. OUR tokens are not separately distributed by Our.News outside of the processes we’ve defined in our FAQ and Terms of Service to anyone. Our.News shareholders and staff members are treated exactly as any other user, and may only earn tokens in the same manner as all other users.
Can I earn digital tokens with Our.News? How?
 
Yes! You earn OUR tokens on Our.News by earning points, and trading them in for tokens.
  • Submitting News – By posting news URLs into the system, you earn points.
  • Rating News – By rating news articles, you earn points.
  • Commenting – By commenting on news articles, you earn points.
  • Adding Sources – By adding sources to news articles, you earn points
  • Voting on Sources – By up/down voting sources on news articles, you earn points
  • Inviting Friends – By inviting friends from Profile->Invite Friends, you earn points
  • Adding Friends – By adding friend connections within the Our.News platform
  • Reporting Security Issues – By reporting and helping us resolve potential security issues
  • Purchasing – Users can purchase OUR tokens for $1 each by sending ETH to our ETH wallet:  0x00f9459eefD6f50121A615996C3143C0033c0095. We will send OUR tokens within three days.
What determines the price of OUR tokens?
 
During our Beta stage, OUR tokens are not tradable on any public market and therefore have no real-world value. OUR tokens may be purchased for $1 per token, however, they cannot yet be redeemed. Ultimately, our production release will enable OUR tokens to be traded on public markets, thereby causing the value to be based on the supply and demand of the token, determined by buyers and sellers on the exchanges. All tokens earned during our Beta stage will be valid (or convertible to) production tradable OUR tokens.
Will I get a 1099 from Our.News?
 
No, as you are not being paid by Our.News. It is your responsibility to determine what, if any, taxes apply to the transactions you make. Further, it is your responsibility to report and remit the correct tax to the appropriate tax authority. By creating an account, you agree that Our.News is not responsible for determining whether taxes apply to your transactions or participating in the Our.News system.
Can I mine OUR?
 
No. OUR tokens can only be earned by participating in content validation.
Can I invest in Our.News?
 
Our.News Holdings Inc. dba Our.News is a privately held company and is not available for public investment. Though not considered an investment, you can purchase OUR tokens for $1 each, which may go up or down in value in the future, by sending ETH to:  0x00f9459eefD6f50121A615996C3143C0033c0095
Can I lose my points or tokens?
 
Once OUR tokens are issued, they are yours and cannot be revoked by us. However, users may lose some (or in extreme cases, all) points, plus any queued but un-issued tokens, for doing bad things like:
  • Violating our Terms of Service, such as posting illegal or obscene content
  • Posting inappropriate content or adding irrelevant sources
  • Having any of your content deleted by Admins if we feel it necessary

Security and Privacy

What is your privacy policy?
 
Your privacy is extremely important to us. Read our full Data Policy here.
What is your Copyright policy?
Our.News respects the intellectual property rights and other proprietary rights of others. We may, in appropriate circumstances and at our discretion, remove certain content or disable access to content that appears to infringe the copyright or other intellectual property rights of others. If you believe that your copyright has been violated by material available through Our.News, please email support@our.news with:
  • Identification of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed;
  • The exact URL and location on screen of the material in question;
  • Your address, telephone number, and email address;
  • A statement by you that you have a good-faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law;
  • A statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the owner of the copyright interest involved or are authorized to act on behalf of that owner;
  • Your electronic or physical signature.
Are my OUR tokens insured in the event of a hack?
 
No, and tokens cannot be taken back if stolen or sent to the wrong account.
How do I report a security vulnerability?
 
If you find a security issue, please report the details to us on Slack or email to support@our.news. If you provide appropriate details and help us resolve the issue, you may be eligible to earn up to 500 OUR tokens.
How do you prevent abuse of the system?
 
The quality of our content validation system is absolutely paramount. While no one could ever completely guarantee the integrity of any open/public rating system, we’re confident our methods are effective.
  • PCI-DSS – We follow technology and business standards proscribed by the PCI DSS Security standards, providing the same level of system security which banks and credit card processors rely on.
  • Creds – Users who do not validate their identity using our Creds system receive extremely low weights on their votes. It would take thousands of “fake accounts” to be able to make any noticeable impact on the validation process, and this would be detected and blocked in-progress.
  • Bias minimization – Our platform checks for biased ratings and minimizes their impact:
    • How long has the user been a user of Our.News before rating the content?
    • Did the user actually read the content before rating it?
    • How long did they spend reading it? Did they click any of the sources?
    • Did the user submit any of their own sources?
    • Does the user always rate one political ideology as “false” or “true” regardless other scores?
Are my content ratings public?
 
No. We only display aggregate total ratings. Individual ratings cannot be seen publicly. When you rate something, an activity item appears on your Wall and the public Wall, however, the ratings displayed are the aggregate ratings. You can manually remove these too if desired, by clicking the Delete button.

Spam and Abuse

What is considered spam or abuse?
 
  • Posting content that is not news
  • Leaving nearly identical or materially similar comments on multiple posts.
  • Comments that are unrelated to the topic of discussion.
  • Sending users a link to your blog or a post if it is not relevant to the conversation.
  • Posts or comments that include little or nothing more than an offer to trade follows or upvotes.
  • Threatening users with any type of violence.
  • Not citing sources when using someone else’s material.
  • Posting ‘not safe for work’ content
  • Selling or offering to buy ratings, or schemes that facilitate this.
  • Scams or Fraudulent offers.
  • Any other activity in violation of our Terms of Service.
Where do I report a post or comment that contains spam or abuse?
 
Please report any abusive content on Slack or by emailing support@our.news.

Miscellaneous

How do I contact Our.News?
 
The best way to reach us is on Slack. Or, email support@our.news for help.
Who are the people behind Our.News?
 
Checkout our About page to learn more about the team.
Who is the CEO of Our.News?
 
Richard Zack. Find him on Our.News and LinkedIn.