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Get Paid to Expose Lies
By Christine Durst & Michael Haaren
Sept. 27, 2012
The web has
given birth to some unexpected trends (which may be the understatement
of the century). One of the fastest-growing is
“crowdsourcing” – turning to the public en masse to
get something done, large or small, commercial or
For example, at any given moment, thousands of people across the U.S.
need to have errands run. Sites like Taskrabbit.com match them to
errand-runners, who earn a few dollars for their time. For a corporate
example, 1-800-FLOWERS and other companies with seasonal surges in
orders will hire temporary home-based customer service agents to meet
THE TRUTH PAYS
One of the latest in the series of crowdsourcing sites is
TruthMarket.com, which bills itself as “the marketplace for truth
telling.” Per the site,
“TruthMarket™…enables participants to
‘crowd-fund,’ organize and execute grass roots campaigns to
publicly expose false political, commercial and activist claims and
reinforce true claims. Successful campaign creators, challengers and
defenders earn cash rewards, public commendation and acclaim for their
TruthMarket lets individuals claim a bounty when they disprove or
support an asserted truth. For example, as we write, $5,000 is being
offered to anyone who can disprove the claim of Sheriff Arpaio of
Arizona that President Obama’s birth certificate is forged.
Similarly, $5,000 is offered to anyone who can show that prolonged cell
phone use is safe.
On the flip side, the site also lets you raise money from the public
yourself to encourage individuals to disprove a lie or support a truth.
For example, $30,000 is being sought to disprove the claim that
“Guns are used 1.5 million times annually by U.S. residents for
EASY TO ASK FOR MONEY
The web has made it simple to ask an almost infinite number of people
for money, for almost any reason. Do you have unpaid medical bills?
Would you like to offer more crafts for sale on Etsy? Need to increase
the capacity of your organic bakery? Want to write a book? Sites like
Indiegogo.com and Kickstarter.com make it easy to ask the public for
However, storm clouds are gathering on the horizon. Many campaigns
offer merchandise or services in exchange for contributions, and some
people are complaining that they didn’t receive the things they
were promised. In other cases, donors say they weren’t adequately
informed of how the money they gave was spent.
Easy money is a powerful lure, and the sums at stake can be quite
large. For example, a campaign at Indiegogo.com to buy back inventor
Nikola Tesla’s old laboratory has raised $1.3 million. At
Kickstarter.com, another “crowdfunding” site, a campaign
for a “smartwatch” famously raised $1 million in 28 hours,
and by the time it was over had raised more than $10
On that thought, maybe we should launch a campaign to fund the writing of our next column!
Christine Durst and Michael Haaren are leaders in the work-at-home
movement and advocates of de-rat-raced living. Their latest book
is Work at Home Now,
a guide to finding home-based jobs. They offer additional guidance on
finding home-based work at www.RatRaceRebellion.com. To read features
by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators
Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2012 BY STAFFCENTRIX, DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM