Who paid for that political ad? An app will tell you

Sep 25, 2012
A woman views a Mitt Romney ad called "The Breakup" on September 6 in Washngton, DC. Voters want to know: who is behind some of the ads they see on TV. Now, there's an app for that.

In the nasty world of US politics, voters want to know: who is behind some of the ads they see on TV. Now, there's an app for that.

The Super PAC App is an application which allows users to find out more information on in the 2012 by simply holding up their phone to the ad while it's playing.

Super PACs are political action committees which are independent of, but which may support candidates. Under recent rulings, these groups may raise and spend unlimited funds without being subject to the limits of individual candidates.

The app uses audio from a company called TuneSat to identify the audio from the ad and thereby show details of the ad sponsor. It usually needs around 12 second to function.

According to the app's website, co-founders Dan Siegel and Jennifer Hollett met in a social television class at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and developed the idea as a class project.

"Along the way, the small class project turned into their final class project, which turned into Super PAC App upon graduation," according to the website.

Users of the app can get information including the source of the ad, and the amount of money raised and spent by the organization and then use their phones to rate the ads.

"We believe in transparency and easy access to trustworthy information," the website says. "Whether you lean right, left, up, or down this app's for you."

Explore further: Researcher aims to develop system to detect app clones on Android markets

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