You don’t have to look very far to see the growing divide in our country around social and political issues. Unfortunately, with COVID-19 and now the protests over the death African American men and women at the hands of law enforcement, this divide is devolving even further. This divide reflects how the public communicates when it comes to a difference in opinion. In a Democracy like ours, a pluralistic nation with a large amount of diverse racial spiritual and ethnic groups, opposing views can seem insurmountable. Our ability to communicate within and because of our diversity is referred to public discourse.
We started this foundation because it is time to grow together. We are affiliated with Satya Analytics, the most accurate source of sentiment analysis data. From what we found in the data, most people want to come together and heal as well. In forming the Satya Foundation for Improving Public Discourse, we can share information freely, without encumbrance from any financial interests, to the groups and organizations that need it most.
Why Public Discourse Is Important
Public discourse is our primary forum for each of us to express our concerns, our desires, what’s of importance and what we expect from our leaders. It is how we develop understanding and find common ground to solve our growing problems. In times like we are in now, open public discourse is even more important so that everyone can safely be heard.
But it’s not working.
Unfortunately, as you know, we’ve lost the ability to communicate effectively. Every day you see more examples of the political process shifting focus from important issues into attacks on others that dare point out the problems our country faces. There are cover ups and accusations, a lack of accountability and responsibility, and incendiary remarks on both sides of the ideological divide that are counterproductive to effective conversations.
Take the example of the 2016 presidential election. At a time when we needed real leadership to find solutions and to build bridges of bipartisanship, there was everything but. Instead of holding a rigorous debate that presented coherent policy platforms, there were character assassinations, hominem attacks on the candidates, both on live television, in the press and in social media posts. The 2020 election is upon us and shows signs of degrading even further.
Which makes us wonder: Where do we go for information we can trust?
What the Satya Foundation Is Doing to Help
The Satya Foundation’s mission is to provide information that will support efforts to improve the quality and tone of conversations taking place around us. We were granted IRS 501(c)3 status as a foundation in order to not only provide the information for free, but to make certain that there were no financial interests in our work.
The Satya Foundation uses the most accurate sentiment analysis tool available to monitor people’s reactions to current events. We:
- Gather information on more topics and have better reach and more frequency across the populace.
- Track reach of opinions beyond social media by analyzing the entire Web presence of users
- Protect privacy by only using public information. We don’t want to know who is writing, only what they are feeling and thinking about current events.
- Accurately extract sentiment toward a wide range of topics with over 85% accuracy.
- Take into account the context of online conversations and a writer’s political leaning so comments, disagreements, and irony can be factored.
- Measure sentiment in dimensions such as trust/distrust, fear/ acceptance, showing a potential view of the writer’s intentions.
It is our intention to provide the results of our findings to the many organizations that are addressing public discourse issues, free of charge. We are also posting our results here for anyone interested in the most reliable information available.