US20060135250A1 - Betting method and system for debunking and validating statements - Google Patents

Betting method and system for debunking and validating statements Download PDF

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US20060135250A1
US20060135250A1 US11/017,261 US1726104A US2006135250A1 US 20060135250 A1 US20060135250 A1 US 20060135250A1 US 1726104 A US1726104 A US 1726104A US 2006135250 A1 US2006135250 A1 US 2006135250A1
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bet
statement
speaker
system
misleading
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Michael Rossides
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Rossides Michael T
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F9/00Games not otherwise provided for
    • A63F9/24Electric games; Games using electronic circuits not otherwise provided for
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F9/00Games not otherwise provided for
    • A63F9/24Electric games; Games using electronic circuits not otherwise provided for
    • A63F2009/2401Detail of input, input devices
    • A63F2009/2402Input by manual operation

Abstract

We disclose a method for operating an online computer database system that enables users to create, match up and settle bet offers about whether an independent expert will judge a specified statement to be misleading or fair. The method, implemented via the computer system, displays these bet offers, thus providing a new way to debunk or validate a given statement.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application traces priority to disclosure document 529,728 filed Apr. 15, 2003.
  • STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY FUNDED RESEARCH
  • Not applicable.
  • BACKGROUND
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The invention relates to betting methods and media for communicating opinions.
  • 2. Description of Related Art
  • U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,575,474 and 6,443,841 disclose methods and systems for using bets to communicate. The Iowa Electronic Markets (http://www.biz.uiowa.edu/iem) enable users to express their opinions on several matters. The Hollywood Stock Exchange (www.hsx.com) provides a market for enabling users to express their opinions on how movies will perform. R. Hanson (http://hanson.gmu.edu/gamble.html) has proposed a betting market that lets people express scientific opinions. Many betting markets exist.
  • This application describes a narrower invention than a general method and system for betting or communicating opinions through bets. It is an invention for solving the more specific problem of how to communicate that a statement is misleading or fair, and provide a subjective measure of how misleading or fair the statement is. This application describes a betting method and system with novel processes that create a better way to debunk or validate statements. The method and system enable people to bet on whether an independent expert would judge a statement to be misleading or fair.
  • A bet offer or bet agreement about the “honesty” of a given statement is a meta-statement that labels that statement in a novel way—it debunks or validates the given statement. The inventive method and system enable this kind of meta-statement to be made and displayed in a user-friendly, low transaction cost way. So, the invention differs from the prior art in the sense that a sports bet market differs from the more general invention of a market. The invention differs from the prior art in:
    • the subject matter and terms of the bet offers and contracts
    • the input/output options presented to users
    • the steps for displaying and transacting these offers and contracts
    • the bet results and other information generated.
    OBJECT OF THE INVENTION
  • An object of the invention is to provide a better way to demonstrate and communicate whether a statement is misleading or fair.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • We disclose a method for operating an online computer database system that enables users to create, match up and settle bet offers about whether an independent expert will judge a specified statement to be misleading or fair. The method, implemented via the computer system, displays these bet offers, thus providing a new way to debunk or validate a given statement.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • There are no drawings.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • Contents
  • Preface: General Method for Debunking or Validating Statements
  • About this Specification
  • Initial Definitions
  • Part I
  • Module 1: Steps for Authoring a CC-bet
  • Module 2: Steps for Finding/Displaying a CC-bet
  • Module 3: Steps for Making a CC-bet Offer
  • Module 4: Steps for Entering and Displaying Descriptions of Users
  • Module 5: Steps for Retracting a CC-bet Offer
  • Module 6: Steps for Matching Up CC-bet Offers
  • Module 7: Steps for Judging and Settling CC-bets
  • Module 8: Steps for Registering the Response of a Speaker to a CC-bet Offer
  • Module 9: Steps for Compiling and Displaying Statistics about Speakers and Bettors
  • Module 10: Steps for Charging Users
  • Part II
  • Module 1 Revisited: More Steps for Creating Rules for a CC-bet
  • Preface: General Method for Debunking or Validating Statements
  • One basic problem of public communication is that it is easy to make a misleading statement, but it is usually hard to debunk one.
  • A second, basic problem is that it is hard to show that a person is intentionally making a misleading statement.
  • Consider, for example, how to demonstrate to the public that (1) the statements below are misleading, and (2) the speakers are intentionally being deceptive.
      • Political Attack: “McCain opposes local cancer research programs right here in New York.”
        • Geri Barish, TV ad by campaign for George W. Bush for President
      • Economic Fact: The tax relief I propose will give 23 million small-business owners an average tax cut of $2,042 this year.”
        • George W. Bush, Weekly Radio Address, Jan. 18, 2003
      • Ad Slogan: The more you play, the more you win!
        • Slogan of D.C. Lottery
      • Health Claim: GARLIQUE tablets are so convenient—you take only one tablet per day to support cardiovascular health.”
        • From an ad for a garlic supplement
  • The solution of the inventive method is to let people bet on whether an independent expert would judge a statement to be misleading or fair. For example, assume a person or group offers to bet $100,000 at even odds that a neutral expert will say, “The more you play, the more you win,” is a misleading statement. Then, the lottery executives that use this slogan have the opportunity to accept this bet. If they decline to bet, they show that they think the statement is probably misleading in the opinion of an independent expert.
  • This kind of bet can also be used to validate fair statements when a person or group bets that a neutral expert will find a statement “fair.” For example, assume a person offers to bet $100,000 at even odds that a neutral expert will say that the statement below is fair.
      • Purported Fact: . . . what the lotteries in Maryland, Virginia and the District have become: a $2.2 billion-a-year cash cow that relies on a hard core of heavy players, who, on average, have less education and lower incomes than the population as a whole . . .
        • Ira Chinoy and Charles Babington, Washington Post, May 3, 1998; Page A01
  • Now, if no one, including lottery executives, accepts the bet, then people seeing the statement can see that the statement is probably a fair one in the opinion of most experts.
  • We will call a bet used to debunk or validate a statement by the name Cargo Cult Bet (CC-bet). And we call the inventive method of employing this kind of bet by the name Cargo Cult Bet Method (CCBM) and the inventive system operated according to this method by the name Cargo Cult Bet System (CCBS).
  • Richard Feynman coined and defined the term Cargo Cult Science to denote non-scientific statements. The purpose of a CC-bet is to expose misleading, “Cargo Cult” statements, and to recognize fair, scientific ones.
  • Some Limitations of the CC-bet
  • One can point out many limitations of a CC-bet. Here are some important ones:
  • 1. There is no objective definition of misleading or fair.
  • 2. An independent expert's opinion is not necessarily reasonable or correct.
  • 3. It costs money to hire independent experts.
  • 4. For many statements not enough information is known by experts to say whether a statement is misleading or not.
  • Thus, the inventive method has many limitations. But, so does any useful method. The inventive method may, at minimum, enable people to refute and prevent many statements that are very misleading. If the method does only that, it will be a valuable tool.
  • Below we discuss in a little more detail why it is better than existing debunking methods.
  • Why Existing Debunking Tools Fail and Why the CC-bet Method Works
  • Why, given current forms of speech and media, is it hard to debunk misleading statements? Let us briefly discuss four obstacles and show how the CC-bet overcomes them:
    • 1. No incentive to attack the statement
    • 2. The cost of impressions
    • 3. One hired expert opinion equals another
    • 4. No way to read minds
  • For the sake of concreteness, let us imagine that the statement is:
    • A healthy heart, a healthy life. Garlic has been used for centuries to support a healthy cardiovascular system. Garlic contains the chemicals alliin and allinase. These two chemicals combine to produce allicin—the active ingredient in garlic which most scientists believe is responsible for providing this important support for cardiovascular health . . . “GARLIQUE tablets are so convenient—you take only one tablet per day to support cardiovascular health.”
  • And let us assume that the statement is made in radio and TV ads.
  • Obstacle 1: No Incentive to Attack the Statement
  • When a vitamin company puts out a deceptive claim, there is often no compelling incentive for anyone to attack the statement—to go to the effort to provide the evidence for debunking the claim. It costs time and often money to make an argument. Why should someone expend the time and money to try to knock down one of thousands of misleading statements that one sees or hears every year in the media?
  • A CC-bet provides a financial incentive to debunk misleading claims because the attacker believes he will profit if his bet offer is accepted. Further, very little effort is required to make a CC-bet offer. And, most important, it does not cost much to make a CC-bet offer because if the bettor is correct, the bet will not be accepted.
  • Obstacle 2: The Cost of Impressions
  • If a statement appears in the media and is exposed to a large audience, then to refute that statement one must purchase access to that audience; one must purchase the impressions. Usually, this cost obstacle is extreme and insuperable—imagine trying to buy a series of TV ads to refute a series of ads about a garlic pill. This kind of purchased refutation almost never happens because of the cost.
  • And yet a CC-bet can overcome this obstacle for a key segment of the audience, the segment that is interested in the subject of the ad. How?
  • To continue with our example, anyone interested in garlic pills from a particular company can look up the company and the pill name in the CCBS and find out what bettors think.
  • More importantly, a person can find out whether the company selling the pills is willing to bet that an independent expert will find the company's statements about the pills misleading or fair.
  • Thus, the easy ability to look up statements by speaker and subject can overcome the power of impressions, provided an audience member wants to look up the speaker and/or subject.
  • The same principle applies to political speech. When a person is interested in an issue or candidate, he will often want to do a lookup to find out if a speaker's statements on the issue are fair or misleading.
  • Obstacle 3: One Hired Expert Opinion Equals Another
  • Experts can be hired to support virtually any position. So even if you have the resources to refute a statement by hiring an expert to do the refuting, people often just look at the statements of dueling, paid experts and throw up their hands, not knowing who to believe. For instance, if you hire a doctor who says that there is no evidence that garlic pills are good for one's heart, your doctor's opinion won't trump a doctor hired by a vitamin company.
  • A CC-bet overcomes this problem because the bettors do not have any role in choosing the expert. That makes all the difference. If a speaker is willing to bet that an expert, picked by a neutral party, can judge his statement, then that speaker usually shows he thinks that an independent expert will find his statement fair.
  • Obstacle 4: No Way to Read Minds
  • How can one prove that the seller of garlic pills thinks the statement, “Garlic pills support cardiovascular health,” is misleading? One can't hook him up to a lie detector, and even if one could, those machines don't work reliably.
  • With a CC-bet, one cannot prove that a speaker thinks he is being misleading. But, if he dodges ones bet, one can demonstrate that he thinks that an independent expert will consider his statement misleading.
  • Moreover, while dodging one CC-bet probably does not demonstrate that a speaker is intentionally deceptive, if a speaker dodges a series of CC-bets, regarding different statements, then one has more confidence that the speaker is indeed being intentionally misleading.
  • About this Specification
  • Specification Describes Modules of the Invention
  • We divide this specification into descriptions of modules of the invention. A module comprises a process or processes for accomplishing a sub-objective or sub-objectives of the invention.
  • A module is high-level description that we use for clarity. That is, we group sets of steps together that can be considered to have the same purpose or a related purpose. For example, Module 1 describes processes for creating the question that is to be bet upon, and for creating rules for judging the bet and for governing bet transactions.
  • However, the modules can be decomposed and rearranged, as is apparent to those skilled in technical writing or programming. The goal of this specification is to disclose novel processes and a novel combination of processes. There is no ideal way to present these processes, therefore, those skilled in technical writing or programming will see better ways to organize and present this disclosure.
  • In practice, most, if not all, of the modules will probably be performed together in a single system, but it is possible to decompose the invention into modules and sub-processes that are performed by different entities.
  • The modules described are numbered for convenience but the execution of one module does not necessarily depend on the preceding module.
  • Invention Incorporates Known Betting Methods
  • Bets can be constructed in a great variety of forms and with an endless variety of particular rules. The inventive method and system are not limited to any particular bet form; they can incorporate any suitable, existing form. The novelty of the invention centers on making it easy for people to offer and transact bets that have a certain kind of subject matter and on generating useful information from such bets.
  • Still, let us point out that the invention can use at least four general forms of bets:
    • Even odds bets in which users bet at even odds (not counting any commission assessed by the system).
    • Variable odds bets, in which a user making a bet offer can set his odds.
    • “Quantity bets” in which the amount that one party pays to an opposing party depends on the quantity of a measure being bet upon.
    • Securities bets in which bet outcomes are cast in the form of securities that users buy and sell as, for example, in the Hollywood Stock Exchange (www.hsx.com).
  • The general principle is that a user makes a bet offer (which could be an offer to sell a security) that can be accepted by another party. The user “puts his money where his mouth is.” A user who accepts the offer also “puts his money where his mouth is.”
  • A betting system of the type described here can also enable a user to make a binding bet offer such that the user cannot retract the offer, or can retract the offer and pay a penalty, possibly to another user. This kind of binding offer was described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,575,474 and 6,443,841. Those patents also described range bets and profit margin bets and a variety of other bet forms that serve to encourage honest probability estimates. All these bet forms can be included in the invention described in this specification.
  • While not breaking new ground regarding the form of bets, this specification does describe the novel subject matter of those bets in Module 1.
  • Further, the invention provides for using the data generated by CC-bets to reveal the “credibility” of bettors and speakers, at least as reflected by bet data.
  • Standardized Aspects of Bets in Practice
  • The method and system can enable bettors to create their own custom bet offers. In practice, most of the rules and terms of CC-bets will be standard for transactional simplicity. We also note that one useful aspect of the invention is that it enables users to select from standardized options for making CC-bets.
  • However, for the purpose of disclosing the inventive method, we will describe how users can set virtually all the terms and rules in a bet contest. We cannot say which terms will be held standard in practice, but we realize that in practice users will not have the full freedom of choice described.
  • As with other transaction systems, standard terms may be incorporated by reference, or by a link on a screen that is output to users.
  • ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLES
  • Examples are given throughout. Those skilled in the art will know that the examples are illustrative only and do not limit the range of applications of the present invention.
  • Initial Definitions
  • Bet is a confusing term because it can refer to different things. It is a kind of statement in the sense that someone making a bet offer is making a statement. Bet can refer to a bet offer and a bet agreement. Thus, a bet is also a contract that defines how two opposing bettors can risk money on the outcome of an uncertain event. A bet also involves a set of rules that define the uncertain event. In common parlance, to make a bet often refers to risking money in a bet contract. But, in this specification, making a bet is a process that has many parts. Bet can encompass all stages of this process from creation, transaction and display of a bet offer to settlement of a bet agreement. So, while we will differentiate between different meanings of bet, we will also let the context determine the meaning.
  • A Cargo Cult Bet (CC-Bet) is a bet that is used to debunk or validate a statement. It is a bet about the “honesty” of a statement—whether a statement is misleading or fair, or some variation of those two vague concepts.
  • A subject statement (s-statement) is the statement that is the subject of a CC-bet. We also refer to the s-statement as the specified statement.
  • A CC-Bet Question is the question that is asked in a bet about the subject statement, for example, Is the s-statement misleading orfair? The CC-bet question defines a set of outcomes that a judge selects from to answer the question. In the example, there are two outcomes, Misleading or Fair (and possibly, a third, Not Judgeable). A CC-bet question can define any number of outcomes, though, depending on the question (see Module 1).
  • A CC-Bet Offer is a bet offer made about a CC-Bet Question.
  • A CC-Bet Agreement is two opposing bet offers that have been matched.
  • Cargo Cult Bet Method (CCBM) is the inventive method (also called the inventive method or the method) that enables CC-Bets to be created, offered, matched, settled and viewed. The inventive method is a set of processes in combination for operating a computer to create, place, view and possibly transact useful bets concerning whether a specified statement is misleading or fair. Rules for bets are highly variable, which means that the method can encompass a variety of different rules.
  • Cargo Cult Bet System (CCBS) is an online computer database system (sometimes called an apparatus or the inventive system or the system), connected to a network of terminals, which incorporates, performs, and is operated according to the CCBM.
  • Author is a user who creates a CC-Bet Question and the rules that govern a CC-Bet transaction. Any type of user, except a judge or judge finder, can be an author.
  • Bettor is a user who makes a CC-Bet Offer. A bettor can be an individual or an organization.
  • Viewer is a user who views a CC-Bet at any stage from creation of CC-Bet Question to settlement of a CC-Bet agreement.
  • Judge is a system-authorized user who determines the outcome of a CC-Bet question.
  • Judge Finder is a system-authorized user who selects judges.
  • Administrator is a system-authorized user who establishes the conventions of the system, such as the standard betting rules. He may also assist other users, such as authors and judges, in inputting data. He may also be an author.
  • Speaker is not necessarily a user, but is an individual who or organization (org) that has made an s-statement of a CC-bet which is transacted within the CCBS. A speaker is considered a speaker not in a general sense, but “relative to” the CC-bets that are about statements the speaker has made. A speaker can be a bettor and a viewer as well.
  • Module 1: Steps for Authoring a CC-Bet
  • This module of the invention enables a user to author a CC-bet, which we will also refer to as creating a CC-bet contest. We call it a contest in the sense that an author sets up a contest, or controversy, that people bet about, somewhat like setting up a horse race, along with the rules for betting on the horses.
  • Authoring a CC-bet involves specifying three different kinds of information:
    • 1. Specifying the statement that is to be bet about
    • 2. Specifying the outcomes that a judge selects from in order to settle the bet
    • 3. Specifying a host of rules governing bet transactions.
  • A bet transaction can be governed by a variety of rules specifying how bettors choose bet outcomes and risk money: how money is committed, when a commitment expires, when a commitment is sealed, how an offer may be retracted, how money is divided upon the settlement of the bet, and so forth. The bet transaction rules include payoff rules that define how much money a bettor will receive in exchange for the amount of money he has risked, if he bets on the outcome that the judge selects. Bet transaction rules can also govern aspects of how the judging of the bet is to take place and be paid for.
  • Here we will assume that transaction rules are standard within the system and that an author does not have freedom to set them. In Part II we delve into certain kinds of transaction rules (which we also call bet parameters) that the invention can enable authors to specify. We assume and incorporate by reference any useful transaction processes that have been disclosed in previous applications and patents by the present inventor and in public documents.
  • Here we will focus on novel aspects of the invention, describing how the invention enables a user to first specify the statement that a CC-bet is about, and second specify the outcomes of the CC-bet.
  • Identifying the Subject Statement
  • The inventive method will enable a user to author a bet by pushing an “author-a-bet” button or the equivalent. Upon a user pressing this button, the method will direct the inventive system to present a form for entering information that identifies the s-statement of the CC-bet. We call this information citation information. It can include:
    • 1. The full text of the s-statement or a link to the s-statement. If the statement is audio or visual, a transcript may be provided, or a link to the audio or video itself.
    • 2. The name of the speaker of the s-statement. The name may be an individual or an org, depending on who the speaker is. (There may be more than one speaker responsible for a statement, and the inventive method can accommodate more than one speaker. For simplicity, we will assume that there is only one speaker.)
    • 3. The name of the org the speaker is affiliated with, if any.
    • 4. Where the statement appeared or where it was broadcast or transmitted from.
    • 5. The date or dates that the statement was made.
    • 6. The context of the statement. This information might help viewers to know the general context of the statement, but “context” may be confusing and biased.
    • 7. The subject of the statement. The subject may be described by keyword(s). A subject label may aid viewers trying to find bets about a statement. It can also allow statistics to be generated about how a speaker bets or does not bet about statements he has made about specified subjects.
  • Accordingly, the invention provides a method of (or system for): entering citation information identifying a statement to be the subject of a CC-bet.
  • Specifying the Bet Outcomes (Defining the Bet Question About the S-Statement)
  • We have said that an object of the invention is to enable users to make bets about whether a judge will find a statement to be “misleading” or “fair.” Thus, an author can specify the two outcomes: misleading and fair.
  • But, the object is broader than that. We use the terms misleading and fair for lack of a better way to express the ideas they represent.
  • Misleading and fair are descriptions that are severe abbreviations; in that they are vague concepts that represent the wide ideas. The broad object of the invention is to enable people to bet on how a judge will evaluate a statement's “veracity.” Yet this concept, too, is a vague abbreviation.
  • There are no precise, agreed upon definitions of related concepts such as wrong, correct, lying, truthful, honest, dishonest, scientific, anti-scientific, deceptive, straightforward, and so forth. Thus, we have no perfect terms to use to describe the outcomes of a CC-bet.
  • Let us say, then, that the invention provides data entry options for enabling an author to specify outcomes that are descriptions (characterizations) of the honesty/dishonesty or misleadingness/fairness or falseness/truthfulness or wrongness/correctness of an s-statement. We realize the limitations of these terms; the point is that the invention enables authors to specify these kinds of vague but useful characterizations as bet outcomes. The invention encompasses a variety of other characterizations that are highly related or roughly synonymous with these characterizations (see a thesaurus for an exhaustive list).
  • Using Misleading and Fair to Represent a Host of Related Concepts
  • So, in the sense of what we are disclosing in this specification, we use the terms misleading and fair as proxies for a variety of synonymous or highly related terms. For example, we can say that the outcome fair is “equivalent to” or “encompasses” the terms honest and correct.
  • Thus, the invention is not limited to enabling authors to specify outcomes that include only the terms misleading or fair. Those skilled in language will readily see equivalent or better terms that can be used for the purpose of enabling users to bet on how a judge will evaluate the honesty or veracity of a statement.
  • Defining the Outcomes of a CC-Bet (Defining the CC-bet Question)
  • The invention will provide a form to an author for defining the outcomes of a CC-bet.
  • The simplest set of outcomes is misleading or fair. To these we can add, Not Judgeable. Then we can add modifiers that denote varying degrees of misleading and fair.
  • Another way of saying that the author defines the outcomes of a CC-bet is to say that the author defines the CC-bet question that a judge answers. The question has the form: is the s-statement misleading or fair?
  • (More simply, perhaps, the form can be: Is the s-statement misleading or not misleading? But we will use the term fair instead of not misleading, since it allows for a spectrum of “positive” descriptions of an s-statement.)
  • The CC-bet question can be more elaborate asking about “degrees” or “gradations”: How misleading or fair is the s-statement? and can specify a spectrum of discrete of answers, such as: Very Misleading, Misleading, In-between, Fair, Very Fair.
  • Accordingly, the invention provides a method of (or system for): enabling an author to specify a set of discrete, non-numerical outcomes for describing an s-statement as misleading or fair, and describing degrees of misleadingness and fairness.
  • The question can specify a continuum of numerical answers so that the form of the question is: On a scale of 1-N, with 1 being Extremely misleading and N being Extremely Fair, how would you evaluate the s-statement?
  • Accordingly, the invention provides a method of (or system for): enabling an author to specify a numerical scale (continuum) of outcomes for subjectively measuring the degree of misleadingness and fairness of an s-statement. The scale can have the form of 1-N where “1” represents “most misleading” and “N” represents “most fair.”
  • (In this case a bettor would bet on what number a judge would select.)
  • “Win, Place and Show” Aspects
  • Depending upon the implementation, one outcome can “include” another from a bettor's point of view. For example, Misleading can include Very Misleading, just as Show includes Win and Place in horse race betting.
  • Thus, outcomes can be specified and selected by bettors that include the modifiers of greater than (>) and less than (<). Where natural language descriptions are used, a bettor could select that a judge will find a statement to be, say, Misleading or greater, in a spectrum of, say, Misleading, Very Misleading, Extremely Misleading.
  • Likewise, if a numerical scale is used, a bettor could select that a judge will find a statement to be, say, 6 or greater, on a scale of 1-10.
  • Differentiating Outcomes by Using Explanations of Misleading and Fair
  • It is also possible to differentiate (specify) outcomes by modifying misleading and fair by reasons. For example, six outcomes could be:
    • Misleading because of the use of meaningless terms
    • Misleading because only benefits are discussed
    • Misleading because no probability of success is provided
    • Fair because of the use of precise language
    • Fair because costs and benefits are discussed
    • Fair because a probability of success is provided
  • and so forth, with an endless variety of descriptions being possible.
  • Accordingly, the invention provides a method of (or system for): enabling an author to specify outcomes for subjectively characterizing whether an s-statement is misleading or fair, each outcome providing a different reason why the s-statement is misleading or fair.
  • Pre-Set Menu Options
  • Rather than have an author custom-create outcomes, the inventive system can include standard menu of outcome options that an author can choose from. For example, the system can enable an author to choose a numerical scale of some standard length or a standard set of natural language outcomes.
  • Standardized Outcomes
  • It is also possible to not allow an author to specify outcomes, but instead, to only enable the author to specify the s-statement. This approach may be the most likely in practice because of the advantages of standardization: simplicity and less choice leading to thicker markets and greater usage.
  • Displaying the Bet Contest
  • The system stores the citation information and the specified set of outcomes, along with the transaction rules (we assume standard rules) as a CC-bet contest.
  • The system enables users to find this contest. When a user finds the contest, it is displayed to show users the information entered and also to provides bettors with the ability to choose any of the defined outcomes to bet on. (The method of presenting outcomes to bet on will depend on the set of outcomes and the implementation.)
  • Accordingly, the invention provides a method of (or system for): storing and displaying a bet contest that includes:
    • citation information identifying a subject statement, and
    • a set of outcomes that can be bet upon, each outcomes being a different description of the veracity of the subject statement.
  • Creating Bet Records
  • In this module, the system also creates bet records for the contest and for data that surround the contest, for example, who is betting on the contest, how much they are betting, and a various other data described throughout this specification.
  • Records are also created per bettor, that is, the system will keep a bettor's record for each bettor who bets on a given CC-bet contest. This bettor's specific bet record will store all the information about that bettor's actions regarding that bet. A bettor's bet records are compiled in a bettor's history, as described in the description of Module 9.
  • Examples of CC-Bet Contests
  • For illustration's sake, we give three hypothetical examples of bet contests that are created by enabling a user to enter the information above. These contests would be searchable by viewers and bettors (transaction rules, which we omit, would also be viewable). Bettors could then bet on these contests.
  • Statement to be Judged: “Hi. My name is Geri Barish and I'm a breast cancer survivor . . . what I discovered was shocking. John McCain opposes many projects dedicated to women's health issues. It's true. McCain opposes funding for vital breast cancer programs right here in New York. He opposes funding for the North-Shore-Long Island Jewish breast cancer program and wants to cut finding for NYU's program in Women's cancer. McCain is even against funding for breast cancer mapping . . . John McCain calls these projects, just “garden-variety pork.” That's shocking. America deserves better. Next Tuesday, John McCain won't have my vote. We deserve a candidate with a record on women's issues we can trust.”
  • Speaker: George Bush Campaign for President 2000
  • Where It Appeared: Radio ad in New York State
  • When It Appeared: Early March of 2000
  • Outcomes: Very Misleading, Misleading, Fair, Very Fair
  • Subject: John McCain, breast cancer research
  • Statement to be Judged: “Garlic has been used for centuries to support a healthy cardiovascular system. Garlic contains the chemicals alliin and allinase. These two chemicals combine to produce allicin—the active ingredient in garlic which most scientists believe is responsible for providing this important support for cardiovascular health.”
  • Speaker: Chattem Corporation
  • Where It Appeared: On Chattem website and in radio ads.
  • When It Appeared: From January 2003 to date.
  • Outcomes: Scale of 1-100 where “1” is an utter lie and “100” is scientifically accurate.
  • Subject: Garlique, garlic pills, effects of garlic pills
  • Statement to be Judged: “Take a multivitamin for insurance . . . It won't make up for the sins of an unhealthy diet, but it can fill nutritional holes that can plague even the most conscientious eaters.”
  • Speaker: Walter Willett
  • Where It Appeared: The book, Eat, Drink and Be Healthy, by Walter Willett
  • When It Appeared: Currently
  • Outcomes: Misleading or Fair
  • Subject: Vitamins
  • Module 2: Steps for Finding and Displaying a CC-Bet
  • The purpose of CC-bets is to display them to people to communicate the whether a specified statement is misleading or not. Therefore, the invention provides a module that enables a viewer to find and see the virtually all of the data defining and surrounding a bet, at any stage in the bet process, from creation of a bet contest, to the making of a bet offer, to the matching up of bet offers, to the settlement of a bet agreement, and including statistics compiled from bet data. Viewers may have to pay for the bet data they view.
  • This module can enable a viewer to see, for instance, the s-statement that is being evaluated in the bet, the bet rules, the amount of money risked on each outcome, who has risked money on a given outcome, whether the bet is going to be judged, the result if any, and so forth.
  • Further, and accordingly, the invention provides a method of (or system for): enabling a viewer to find a bet by any searchable criteria that has been entered by the author or any bettor, such as: keywords from the s-statement, the name of the speaker, the organization that the speaker represents (if any), the date of the statement, the place of the statement, the larger statement (if any) that the s-statement is part of, the name of any bettor who has made a bet offer on a given outcome, keywords from comments posted by the speaker and or bettors, and so forth.
  • Further, and accordingly, the invention provides a method of (or system for): enabling a viewer to use search criteria to find and view:
    • the bet offers and agreements made about a particular s-statement
    • the bet offers made about all the s-statements of a particular speaker
    • the bet offers and agreements made by a specified bettor
    • the bet offers and agreements made about s-statements by specified speaker
    • bet offers screened according to whether they have been matched up (accepted) or not.
    Module 3: Making a CC-Bet Offer—Risking Money on an Outcome
  • This module enables a bettor to find a bet, choose an outcome in the bet, and then risk money that the outcome will be chosen by the judge.
  • (Note: A bettor may be an author of a bet, and may risk money while he is authoring the bet contest, but we will consider authoring and risking money as separate actions.)
  • Accordingly, the invention provides a method of (and system for): enabling a bettor to (a) find a bet contest and then (b) pick an outcome as defined by the contest question, and then (c) commit to risking money on the outcome.
  • For example, a user might enter, say, the phrase John McCain opposes breast cancer research into the system and find a bet about whether a particular ad with this phrase is Misleading or Fair. The user could then risk money on either outcome. Or, a user might enter, say, Garlique and find a bet contest about whether a particular ad for Garlique is Misleading or Fair. The user could then risk money on either outcome.
  • The user's choice and amount of money at risk are displayed for viewers to see.
  • When a bettor makes a choice and risks money he is making a bet offer.
  • The system can display all the bettors who have chosen each outcome and how much money each has risked, as well as the total amount of money risked on each outcome.
  • There does not need to be an opposing bettor. For example, all bettors may choose to risk money that John McCain opposes breast cancer research is Misleading.
  • An essential aspect of making a bet choice is the “price” at which money is risked. The kind of price will depend on the payoff rules in effect, which can vary widely. For example, in a variable odds bet, the price will be stated in odds, while in a security-type bet, the price will be stated in the price of a share of stock.
  • If the user can choose the price in a bet, then this module will enable him to specify (enter) the price he is willing to bet at.
  • The price may be standard, especially in the case of even-odds bets. If a bet is set up as even-odds only (or some other standard price) then a bettor can only choose one of the outcomes to bet on and an amount of money to risk.
  • At minimum, then, a bet offer involves picking an outcome and specifying an amount of money to be risked on that outcome at a specified odds or other price.
  • The method and system provide for storing this offer, for enabling the bettor to display this offer and for other bettors and users to find this offer (as explained above).
  • Entering Additional Restrictions to a Bet Offer
  • The method and system can enable a bettor to add a variety of restrictions/conditions to a bet offer, as disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,575,474 and 6,443,841. Below are just four:
    • A targeting restriction directing a bet offer to a specific individual or org. We will call the individual or org the target of a bet offer. If a specified person or org is targeted, then that person or org is entitled to accept the bettor's offer first, before other users, and does not necessarily have to split the pot with other bettors, but may, instead get preferential payoff rights (if she wins the bet). In many implementations, if a speaker's s-statement is attacked in a bet offer then the speaker may have priority.
    • A lock-in condition in which the bettor promises not to retract his bet offer for a specified period of time.
    • A condition that the bettor's offer will stand only if a specified amount of money has been contributed by other parties for paying for the judging.
    • A condition that the bettor's offer will only stand if enough of his stake has been covered by another bettor.
  • Attaching an Explanatory Comment to a Bet Offer
  • As discussed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,575,474 and 6,443,841, the system can enable a user to enter, along with the bet offer, a text explanation of why he bet the way he did. This kind of comment can be quite valuable to viewers. Thus, the inventive system can include steps for enabling a user to post such a comment along with his bet.
  • Adding a Contribution to Paying for the Judging
  • As disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,443,841, the method can include steps for enabling a user to commit to paying some or all of the cost of paying for the judging.
  • The inventive system can enable viewers (including bettors) to see how much has already been committed.
  • A bettor can make a commitment along with a bet offer or at a different time. In some implementations of the invention, a bettor may be required to contribute.
  • Module 4: Entering and Displaying Descriptions of Users
  • As is plain, in order to operate, the invention will include the ability to identify authors, bettors, judges and administrators. Viewers do not have to be identified.
  • Enabling a Bettor to Describe His Expertise About an S-statement
  • The method and system can also enable users to identify themselves and their expertise and credentials to the public. This capability is useful because who makes a bet offer can affect the communication value of the offer. Particularly important is a bettor's knowledge of the s-statement. For instance, more information seems to be provided when the a PhD mathematician makes a bet offer about an ad promoting a lottery than when an anonymous bettor makes such an offer. Hence, a bettor may want to advertise himself when making a bet offer.
  • A bettor would normally decide how much information to provide about himself while making a bet choice, but he could add the information at a different time. This module, then, can enable a bettor to decide how much information to provide about himself for display as supplemental data to a bet offer.
  • Accordingly, the invention may provide a method of (or system for) enabling a bettor to input and display along with a bet offer:
    • his name
    • his organization
    • a description of his job/work
    • a description of his credentials.
  • The invention can enable a bettor to select from a menu or menus of options for describing one's understanding of an s-statement.
  • For instance, the data describing the bettor's expertise about an s-statement could be displayed as a “link to bettor data” shown along with the bettor's bet offer.
  • Also, for convenience, the invention could enable a user to store a profile about himself and then select how much of that profile is to be displayed along with a bet offer.
  • Accordingly, the invention may provide a method of (or system for): enabling a bettor to store profile data, in particular, data giving his name, his organization, a description of his job/work, and a description of his credentials, and enabling the bettor to select which data in his user profile is to be displayed along with a given bet offer he has made.
  • When a Bettor Is an Organization
  • A bettor will often be an organization (org), as when a company attacks another company's advertising, or a company supports its own advertising, or a political action committee attacks a politician's public statements, or supports a politician's statements.
  • Accordingly, the invention may provide a method of (or system for): identifying an org's representative authorized to make bet offers on behalf of the org and identifying a bettor as an org, including giving the org's name, and further, storing and displaying a variety of data describing the org, to be viewed along with the org's bet offers.
  • Authenticating a Bettor
  • The invention can also include processes for authenticating identity data provided by a user, whether that data is about an individual or an org. In this case, the invention would include processes for enabling a system-authorized authenticator to enter a designation of not authenticated or accurate or inaccurate to label the description entered by the bettor to describe himself (instead of labeling a description as “inaccurate,” an authenticator might block the bettor from posting the self-description).
  • Since authentication processes can cost money, the invention can also include processes for charging a user for authentication and assess a penalty fee if the user has provided an inaccurate self-description.
  • Further, the invention may provide a user with the option of being authenticated or not.
  • Authenticating the Credentials of an Anonymous Bettor
  • The invention can enable a bettor to make bet offers anonymously. And, it can include a process for authenticating the credentials of an anonymous bettor.
  • Thus, the invention provides for enabling a bettor to describe her expertise about an s-statement in such a way that the bettor's exact identity is hidden. For example, a description could simply be: Employee of Company Name.
  • The bettor can then request authentication. A system-authorized authenticator can then investigate the bettor. The authenticator can then enter a designation of not authenticated or accurate or inaccurate. Or, the authenticator can block the self-description.
  • Accordingly, the invention provides a method (or system) for enabling:
    • a user to enter and store a description of his expertise regarding an s-statement,
    • a user to request authentication of this description of his expertise,
    • a system-authorized authenticator to receive the request,
    • a system-authorized authenticator to label the description as “not authenticated” or “accurate” or “inaccurate,”
    • a user to make bet offers anonymously and accompanied by a description of expertise that is authenticated by the system-authorized authenticator.
  • Entering and Displaying a Description of a Judge
  • Separately, the invention can include processes for enabling judges to enter profile data about themselves, and to display this profile data to bettors and viewers. This capability is useful because a judge's qualifications can be important for evaluating her opinion.
  • The invention can include means for keeping the identity of a judge secret from bettors until the judge has entered her decision, because making the judge public before a decision can increase the chance of cheating, i.e., that bettors will bribe the judge.
  • Entering and Displaying a Description of the Target of a Bet Offer
  • As discussed in Module 3 above, a bet offer may be directed at a target person or org. For instance, a bettor may want to direct a bet at the press secretary of a political campaign.
  • A bettor may also want to public to know who he has directed the bet at, and also know the target's relationship to the S-statement.
  • For instance, company that makes sunscreen might want to bet a competitor that the competitor's ads are misleading. The bettor (an org in this case) may want to show that its competitor is willing or unwilling to engage in the bet. Thus, the method can enable a bettor to enter and display, along with a bet offer, a description of the target of the bet offer, just as a bettor can enter and display a description of himself.
  • Accordingly, the invention can provide a method of (or system for): enabling a bettor to store descriptive data about the target of a bet offer and to display that data along with the bet offer. The data can describe the target's name, org (if any), and credentials (e.g., title/position) and other information about her expertise about the s-statement.
  • Module 5: Steps for Retracting a CC-Bet Offer
  • This module enables a bettor to retract his bet choice. This module is useful but not strictly necessary. Whether and when a retraction is allowed will depend upon the implementation of the inventive method. A retraction becomes part of the bet record, stored by the inventive system, and can be displayed to viewers.
  • Accordingly, the invention provides a method of (or system for): inputting a retraction of a bet choice and displaying that retraction.
  • If a retraction is allowed, the invention can include steps for assessing a retraction fee.
  • Module 6: Steps for Matching Up CC-Bet Offers
  • In this module, the system matches up bet offers to create bet agreements that define how money that is risked is to be divided upon the result of the judging of the CC-bet. Many methods well known in the art exist for matching up offers.
  • Rules defining how offers are matched are part of the creation of a bet contest (and usually are standard).
  • Accordingly, the invention provides a method of (or system for): matching up bet offers.
  • We have little or nothing to add to the art in this respect.
  • We note, however, that the amount of money that is matched up may be critical in the decision as to whether to pay a judge to settle the bet (see Module 7 below).
  • Module 7: Steps for Judging and Settling CC-Bets
  • This module enables users to settle a CC-bet. To settle a CC-bet, several things have to happen, including:
    • a. Paying for the judging of the CC-bet question
    • b. Triggering the judging when the conditions for judging have been met
    • c. Judging the CC-bet question and entering the result—the outcome
    • d. Dividing the money according to the outcome selected.
  • Below we describe sub-modules that enable these sub-objectives to be accomplished.
  • A. Paying the Costs of Judging
  • This sub-module enables users to pay for having the CC-bet judged.
  • The costs of judging will vary according to the rules provided in the creation of a bet.
  • More than one user may pay for the judging, and a user who is not a bettor—for instance, a company—may pay for the judging.
  • Accordingly, the invention provides a method of (or system for): enabling users to commit to paying all or part of the judging costs.
  • The system will enable users to see how much the judging costs and how much has been committed by other users. For example, a user who finds a particular CC-bet may see that the cost of judging is $10,000. He may then see how much of this cost other users have committed to pay.
  • Accordingly, the invention provides a method of (or system for): displaying who has contributed to paying for the judging and how much.
  • The method can also include rules for rebating money contributed for judging if the judging does not take place or costs less than projected.
  • B. Triggering the Judging
  • In order for judging of the bet to take place, a number of conditions may have to be met. For instance, the judging must be paid for.
  • In this sub-module, the system checks whether the conditions for judging are met, and if so, informs a judge, thereby triggering the judging.
  • An administrator may also assist in the process. That is to say, an administrator may be informed by the system that the conditions for judging are met, and then the administrator may locate a judge and instruct him to judge the contest. The administrator may also assist in transferring funds to the judge.
  • A bet contest might be judged even if opposing bettors do not exist. One or more users may want the s-statement to be evaluated and pay for the judging, which can be enough to trigger the judging, after a specified period of time.
  • Accordingly, the invention provides a method of (or system for): triggering the judging upon the satisfaction of trigger conditions set forth in the bet contest rules.
  • C. Judging the Contest and Settling the Bet
  • A judging process takes place outside the system and the result of that judging will be entered into the system by the judge or, by an administrator that the judge tells, or by an automated process.
  • Accordingly, the invention provides a method of (or system for): storing the judge's decision and bet result and displaying it to users.
  • A judge's decision can include by displayed along with an explanation. To assist the judge, the inventive system can provide a set of pre-written (form) explanations that the judge can choose from. For instance, one reason an s-statement might be misleading is that it takes a fact out of context. The system could include this reason in a database of reasons for judge's decision, and enable the judge to select the reason for posting.
  • D. Dividing Money
  • This sub-module enables winning bettors to divide the money that has been risked, according to the payoff and division rules of a bet, assuming that the bet has been settled, and assuming that opposing bettors exist.
  • Most bets that people are familiar with are winner-take-all between two opposing parties, but many other possibilities exist—that is, many other division rules are possible.
  • Accordingly, the invention provides a method of (or system for): dividing the money risked, as specified by the payoff and division rules, established in the creation of the bet.
  • Further, the method and system provide for recording and displaying the division of money risked.
  • Module 8: Steps for Registering the Response of a Speaker to a CC-Bet Offer
  • A CC-bet can be used to attack an s-statement and, by extension, the speaker. For example, a bettor might bet that the statement, John McCain opposes cancer research, made by the Campaign for George Bush, is Misleading. The Campaign for George Bush is in a sense, attacked by this bet offer. As another example, a bettor might bet that the statement, Our sunscreen lasts 4 hours, made by SunLotions, Inc., is Misleading. Again, this bet offer can be said to attack SunLotions.
  • Definitions for the Description of this Module
  • An attack will mean a bet offer in which a bettor has selected an outcome of Misleading, or the equivalent, about an s-statement. The attack will be specific to that s-statement.
  • An attacker will mean a bettor who has made an attack. The designation of attacker will be specific to a particular attack. Thus, a user can be an attacker in one case and a defender in another.
  • A counter-attack will mean a bet offer in which a bettor has selected an outcome of Fair, or the equivalent, about an s-statement that has been attacked.
  • A speaker counter-attack will mean a counter-attack in which the speaker is the bettor making the counter-attack.
  • A defense will mean a bet offer in which a bettor has selected the outcome of Fair, or the equivalent, about an s-statement.
  • An unprovoked defense is a defense of an s-statement that has not been attacked. It is an attempt to show that a statement is fair, in the absence of an attack on that statement.
  • A defender will mean a bettor who has made a defense. The designation of defender will be specific to a particular s-statement. Thus a user can be an attacker in one case and a defender in another.
  • A mislead is a misleading statement. To tell a mislead is to make a misleading statement.
  • Enabling Speaker Responses
  • A speaker may want to respond to an attack
  • In addition to responding to an attack, a speaker might want to respond to any bet made about a speaker's statement, even a bet offer (a defense) that supports the s-statement.
  • A response can useful to the speaker and to viewers, just as a letter to the editor by a person who has been attacked in an article can help elucidate the issues in the article.
  • Thus, the invention can provide steps for enabling a speaker to post a response to a bet offer about an s-statement made by the speaker. The invention can provide for presenting a “speaker response button,” or the equivalent, that is shown along with a CC-bet offer. Pressing this button causes the system to present a form, or the equivalent, for entering a speaker's response to the bet offer. The response form can enable the speaker to enter a variety of information, including, but not limited to, the information described below:
  • A. Speaker Enters a Bet Offer
  • The system can enable the speaker to enter a bet offer, just as it enables any bettor to enter an offer. In the case of the speaker, the bet offer can be labeled as the speaker's offer, to be distinguished from offers made by other bettors.
  • B. Speaker Enters a Comment
  • The system can enable the speaker to enter a comment that is not a bet offer but simply a text explanation of the speaker's view of the s-statement.
  • The system can further enable the speaker to choose from a set of standard comments.
  • C. Speaker Enters a Correction or Modification of the S-statement
  • The system can also enable a speaker to correct or modify the S-statement, which the speaker may want to do in certain cases.
  • If the speaker enters a correction or modification, that fact can be noted along with any bet offer made about the s-statement. Further, all the bettors who have made bet offers about the s-statement can be notified.
  • A correction or modification may be grounds for settling existing, matched up bet offers. In this case, a system-authorized judge can also be alerted to enter results for affected bets, or this process may be done automatically, if possible.
  • D. Speaker Enters a Complaint that the S-statement Is Trivial or that the S-statement's Mislead Was Excusable
  • One problem with enabling bettors to attack a speaker's statements is that every speaker will routinely make misleading statements.
  • It can be said that any statement is misleading in some way or another.
  • It can also often be said that a statement is trivial (or the equivalent) and so no harm is done if it is misleading.
  • Likewise, it can also often be said that a statement is misleading but that the mislead is excusable or is a reasonable result of normal conversational language.
  • And so, the system can enable the speaker to enter a complaint calling the S-statement “misleading” but also “trivial” or “excusable,” or the equivalent.
  • The system can also enable the speaker to request that a neutral judge rule on whether the statement is trivial or that the mislead was excusable (or the equivalent).
  • The system can enable the speaker to pay for this judgment or to ask an attacker to pay for this judgment. If the attacker(s) refuse(s) to pay, then his/their bet offer(s) can be cancelled and he/they can be assessed a penalty.
  • This kind of penalty prospect can reduce the volume of nuisance bets.
  • It is also possible to enable a speaker to bet that a judge will find that an s-statement is misleading but that the mislead was trivial or excusable. The invention can include steps for automatically presenting this bet to attackers.
  • E. Speaker Enters a Complaint Stating that the S-statement Was Misquoted
  • The system can enable the speaker to enter a complaint that the s-statement was misquoted. The system can further enable the speaker to demand a retraction of bet offers on that s-statement. The system can also enable the speaker to request that a neutral judge rule on whether the statement is misquoted or not.
  • The system can include steps for assessing penalties on bettors who have entered misquoted (inaccurate) s-statements.
  • It is also possible to enable a speaker to bet that a judge will find that an s-statement is misquoted. This bet offer can be presented to attacking bettors.
  • Displaying a Speaker's Response
  • A speaker's response information can be presented along with a CC-bet about the speaker's s-statement. The response can be displayed explicitly or as a “link to speaker's response.” In other words, the speaker's response can be labeled as such and made accessible via the CC-bet offer that the speaker is responding to.
  • Further, the invention can automatically provide for linking any CC-bet offer about a particular s-statement to the speaker's response concerning that s-statement.
  • Authenticating a Speaker
  • The problem with enabling a user to enter a speaker response is that the user making the response may be an imposter. Thus, the invention can also provide for an authentication process for ensuring that a user who purports to be the speaker is, indeed, the speaker,
  • Accordingly, after a user has pressed the speaker response button, the system can request that the speaker first submit to an authentication process or submit a system-authorized name and password associated with the speaker.
  • Once the speaker has passed the authentication process, he can enter his response.
  • If the speaker has already passed an authentication process, he can simply supply a name and password.
  • See also a description of Module 4 above for a discussion of authentication methods the invention can include. These methods can apply to authenticating a speaker just as they can to authenticating a bettor or other kind of user.
  • Paying a Speaker to Respond to a Bet Offer
  • A speaker, especially one who knows he has made a misleading offer, may not want to respond to a CC-bet. For example, the Bush Campaign might not want to respond to a bet offer saying that they have run a misleading ad because the response may clearly show that they indeed did run a misleading ad.
  • For many reasons, a speaker may not respond to a CC-bet offer.
  • To put more “pressure” on a speaker to respond, a bettor or other kind of user could offer to pay a speaker to respond. Processes for enabling users to pay people to make bets were disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,575,474 and 6,443,841 under the heading Missile Missives. Additional methods and mechanisms may be disclosed in a future application, and so we will not delve into these processes here, except to say that the invention can include processes for enabling users to pay a speaker to respond to a CC-bet.
  • Module 9: Steps for Compiling and Displaying Statistics about Speakers and Bettors
  • How does viewer know if a bettor's opinion—expressed in a bet—is reliable? One way is to see how other bettors are betting on the same question. For example, if a speaker is the only person betting that his s-statement will be judged Fair, while twenty other bettors are betting that the statement will be judged Misleading, then it may be clear that the speaker's opinion is biased.
  • Another way to evaluate a bettor's opinion is to look at the bettor's betting record, just as one may look at the investment record of a someone who is recommending a stock.
  • There is another, perhaps more important, way that a user's record over a series of bets can be useful—it can provide general measures of credibility. That is, it can provide a way to indicate whether a bettor's bet opinions generally are to be trusted. For example, if a speaker has made ten bet offers in defense of his s-statements, and if he has lost all ten bets, then that may be a clear indication that his s-statements are misleading and that he is making bet offers simply to save appearances. Conversely, if a speaker makes ten bet offers and wins all ten bets or if his offers are not accepted, then it may be clear that the speaker's bet offers and s-statements are to be trusted.
  • Thus, the inventive system can include means for saving a bettor's betting records into a bettor's history, and for compiling useful statistics that summarize that history.
  • Bettor 's history will refer to a compilation record that includes some or all of the individual records of a bettor's bets and supplemental information, such as comments, and personal profile information. In other words, a bettor's history is the system's “dossier” about the bettor.
  • Bettor's statistics will refer to any set of descriptive statistics that the system automatically generates or generates upon request, using data from a bettor's history.
  • Just as a history and statistics can be compiled about a bettor, they can be compiled about a speaker, even though a speaker might not make any bet offers. That is because the system can register a speaker's response or lack of response to any CC-bet about the speaker's statement(s).
  • Speaker 's history, then, will refer to a compilation record that includes some or all of the individual records of a speaker's bets, and the speaker's responses to bet attacks, and supplemental information, such as comments, and personal profile information.
  • The invention can provide for distinguishing between bets and comments that a speaker makes about his own s-statements, and bets and comments about other s-statements.
  • Speaker statistics, generated from the speaker's history, can be valuable to viewers. Looking at a speaker's statistics, a viewer can glean whether the speaker's response to a particular s-statement should be trusted or not.
  • Accordingly, the system can enable a viewer to look up a speaker's history and to request that specified statistics be generated from the speaker's history.
  • We first describe some useful information that the system can store about a speaker, and useful statistics the system can generate for viewers. Then we describe useful information and statistics that the system can store and provide about a bettor.
  • The system can make such statistics accessible by presenting a “speaker statistics” or “bettor statistics” link that leads to these statistics. For instance, when a speaker's or bettor's name is displayed, the displayed name can include a link to a summary of key statistics about that speaker or bettor.
  • The statistics generated for a specified speaker can then be compared to those of another specified speaker or compared to those of an average speaker (as defined by some form of averaging of speaker history data).
  • Speaker Statistics that the Invention Can Generate and Display
  • A. The Number of s-Statements by a Speaker That Have Been the Subject of Attacks.
  • Some viewers might want to know, “How many statements of a speaker have been. attacked?” The system can provide a statistic that answers this question. Likewise, the system can enable a viewer to see how many non-trivial statements of a speaker have been attacked. (Non-trivial means statements that a system-authorized judge has agreed are non-trivial.) Further, the system can enable viewers to find out how many statements by a speaker about a specified subject have been attacked.
  • B. The Results of Attacks That Have Been Settled.
  • Some viewers may want to know the results of all the attacks on a speaker's statements where the bets have been settled.
  • C. The Percentage of Attacks That Have Been Counter-Attacked by a Speaker.
  • A viewer may want to know the fraction of times that a speaker has defended an s-statement of his that has been attacked. It is often quite reasonable that a speaker does not respond to an attack, and therefore, this statistic may not tell very much. A related statistic can be generated in which the system shows the percentage of attacks that have been counter-attacked in which the speaker has been offered a payment to respond (see the end of Module 8), and this statistic can be presented according to how much payment has been offered. For example, a statistic can show the percentage of times a speaker has made a counter-attack after having been offered $500 or more to make the counter-attack.
  • D. The Profitability of a Speaker's Counter-Attacks.
  • The most important kind of response to an attack, perhaps, is a counter-attack. And so, some viewers may want to know the profitability of a speaker's counter-attacks. The same statistics can be generated for a speaker's unprovoked defenses.
  • E. The Win/Loss Results of a Speaker's Counter-Attacks.
  • Some viewers may want to know the how many counter-attack bets a speaker has won and lost, and the ratio of wins to losses. The same statistics can be generated for a speaker's unprovoked defenses.
  • F. The Percentage of a Speaker's Defenses That Are Not Matched Up (Accepted).
  • One sign that a bettor has made a potentially profitable (“good”) bet is that no one accepts the bet, takes the opposite side, that is. Thus, some viewers may want to know the percentage of defenses a speaker has made that are not accepted.
  • G. The Number and/or Percentage of People Who Have Attacked a Speaker's s-Statements Compared to the Number Who Have Defended a Speaker's s-Statements.
  • Some viewers may want to know how many people have supported a speaker through bet offers and how many have attacked a speaker, and the ratio defenders to attackers.
  • H. The Number and/or Attacks That Have Lead to Corrections or Modifications by a Speaker.
  • A speaker might decide to correct or modify an s-statement in response to an attack. Some viewers may want to know how many times, in absolute and/or percentage terms, that an attack has led to a correction/modification by a speaker.
  • I. The Number and/or Percentage of Defenses and Counter-Attacks by a Speaker that the Speaker Has Retracted Before The Bets Have Been Settled.
  • A speaker whose has made a bet offer defending his s-statement (whether an unprovoked defense or a counter-attack) may later think that it is better to retract the offer. Some viewers may want to know how many time in absolute or percentage terms that the speaker has made such retractions.
  • J. The Number and/or Percentage of Bets That Have Not Been Settled Due to the Lack of Payments for Judging.
  • A bet often will not be settled because not enough money is committed by users to pay for the costs of judging. Some viewers will want to know the percentage of bets about a speaker's s-statements that are not settled due to lack of payment for judging.
  • K. The Average and/or Median Amount of Money a Speaker Puts at Risk in a Bet.
  • This statistic can show when a speaker is betting more or less than average or median, which can sometimes be helpful in evaluating a speaker's bet.
  • Bettor Statistics that the Invention Can Generate and Display
  • The statistics described above can also be generated about a bettor, with some modifications. For example:
  • A. The Profitability of a Bettor's Attacks and Defenses.
  • A viewer may want to know the profitability of a bettor's attacks and, separately, the profitability of a bettor's defenses.
  • B. The Percentage of Times a Bettor Has Retracted an Attack.
  • A viewer may want to know the fraction of times that a bettor has retracted an attack.
  • C. The Absolute Number and the Percentage of Attacks That Are Counter-Attacked.
  • A view may want to know the number of times a bettor's attack has been counter-attacked and/or counter-attacked by the speaker, and further, the ratio of attacks to counter-attacks.
  • Module 10: Charging Users
  • The invention can also include processes for charging users. Users may be charged for posting bet offers and comments, for viewing bet data, for transacting bets, and so forth.
  • We have nothing to add to the art of charging transaction fees or of charging for information or of charging for advertising.
  • Suffice to say, then, that the inventive method and system can include a variety of well-known processes for charging for information, for advertising, and for taking a commission on transactions.
  • Part II More Steps for Setting the Rules a CC-Bet
  • Part II elaborates on Module 1, describing steps for enabling an author to set the rules that govern a bet contest and how people can bet on the contest. Thus, Part II describes processes that can apply to other betting methods and systems.
  • The description of rules is by no means exhaustive. We try to focus on rules and corresponding processes that can be important, realizing that those skilled in the art will know of a great number of additional rules and processes that can be applied to governing an overall betting process. One can look at the rules and regulations of any betting market and see a wide variety of such rules.
  • (We note that the description below is mostly taken from previous patent application Ser. No. 10/646,017 that describes a separate method for using bets to communicate.)
  • (In this Part II we do not describe features for enabling users to risk money in a bet because we distinguish between creating a bet contest and risking money on the contest.)
  • The inventive system will present the user with a form or the equivalent for setting these rules. The rules are stored and displayed so other users can view and react to them.
  • The system can enable an author to specify:
    • 1. Who Will Judge the CC-Bet
    • 2. The Cost of Judging the CC-Bet
    • 3. The Payoff Method
    • 4. The Rules for Matching Up Bet Offers
    • 5. The Retraction Rules
    • 6. The Trigger Conditions for Judging the CC-Bet
  • 1. Specifying Who Will Judge the CC-Bet
  • A judge is required to decide the CC-bet—choose an outcome, that is.
  • Accordingly, the invention can provide a method of (or system for): enabling the author to specify who selects the judge of the bet and, possibly, how the judge is chosen.
  • Here are some different ways that a judge can be chosen:
    • The author chooses the judge according to the author's preference.
    • The author chooses the judge from among a list of system-authorized judges.
    • The author can choose the qualifications of judge, but not the actual judge, whose selection is decided by another party.
    • A designated neutral party can choose the judge. The qualifications of this neutral party can be set by default or the author can be given the choice of qualifications.
  • The invention can also provide a method of (or system for): displaying the qualifications of the judge or judges.
  • 2. Specifying the Cost of Judging the CC-Bet
  • The next rule to specify is how much is to be paid for the judging, which can include a judge's fee, hourly rate, and expenses, if any.
  • Accordingly, the invention can provide a method of (or system for): enabling the author to specify how much is to be paid for the judging.
  • A variety of choices exist:
    • The author may state the amount. The author may choose from a cost menu, such as $500, $1,000, $5,000, and so forth.
    • The author may state the amount of time the judge will spend. The author may choose from a cost menu, such as 1 hour, 5 hours, 10 hours, and so forth. The cost per hour may or may not be known.
    • The author may request a cost estimate from a designated third party. This cost estimate itself may cost something to produce. The cost estimate can be for the total job of judging or an hourly rate.
    • Or, the author may request an estimate by specified third party and create a contest based on this cost estimate. The author can also specify how much is to be paid for this estimate (because the estimate will cost money to produce).
  • 3. Specifying the Payoff Method
  • Payoff rules govern the proportion of money that opponents in a bet have to risk and how the money risked is divided upon the result of the contest.
  • Accordingly, the invention can provide a method of (or system for): enabling the author to specify the payoff rules.
  • A wide range of rules is possible.
  • A person who risks money in a bet will make an offer using the payoff rules for the bet.
  • As noted, the payoff rules define how a bet offer is “priced.”
  • The best-known payoff rule, perhaps, is even-odds in which a bettor offers to risk $1 for each $1 an opponent risks. The person who picks the correct outcome out of two outcomes then wins the pot.
  • In a variable odds bet the proportions of money risked will be set by the odds that are offered, usually in X-Y form.
  • The payoff rules can allow for a bettor to create a “security,” like a pseudo-stock, whose ultimate value is determined upon the outcome of the contest. This security can be sold before the outcome is known.
  • 4. Specifying the Rules for Matching Up Bet Offers
  • Many well-known methods exist for matching up bet offers.
  • We do not delve into the mechanics of how bettors on the same “side” of a bet can combine their stakes, and how the money can be apportioned to the winners.
  • Rules defining how offers are matched are part of the creation of a bet contest (and usually are standard).
  • Accordingly, we note that the invention can provide a method of (or system for): enabling an author to create rules for matching up bet offers.
  • 5. Specifying the Retraction Rules
  • Rules for retracting money in a bet contest also may need to be specified. So, the inventive method and system will include a process for specifying the retraction rules.
  • Accordingly, we note that the invention can provide a method of (or system for): enabling an author to create rules for retracting money pledged in a bet.
  • Note: Money risked as a stake in a bet can be treated differently from money that is committed for paying for the judging of the bet.
  • 6. Specifying the Trigger Conditions
  • Rules for triggering the judging of the bet, and the commitment of all the monies needed for executing the bet, may also need to be specified. Normally, these rules will be standard.
  • A variety of different rules are possible and we do not delve into these possibilities.
  • Accordingly, we note that the invention can provide a method of (or system for): enabling an author to create rules for triggering the judging of the product contest.

Claims (1)

1. a method for operating a computer database system for the purpose of enabling bets that debunk and validate statements, said method comprising:
(a) a user entering a bet into said database, said bet being constructed upon the question of whether a specified statement is misleading or not misleading,
(b) enabling other users to find said bet,
(c) enabling users to make a bet offer upon said bet, an offer being composed of a choice of misleading or not misleading, and an amount of money to be risked upon said choice being agreed with be a system judge, and an odds figure that determines how much the user will risk in proportion to opposing users who have chosen the opposite side of the bet,
(d) matching up opposing bet offers to create a bet contract,
(e) enabling a judge to enter a decision as to which user's choice the judge agrees with and is consequently the winning choice,
(f) displaying the results of said bet contract.
US11/017,261 2004-12-20 2004-12-20 Betting method and system for debunking and validating statements Abandoned US20060135250A1 (en)

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US9811974B2 (en) 2015-01-14 2017-11-07 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Multi-directional shooting interleaved wagering system
US10176667B2 (en) 2015-01-15 2019-01-08 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Distributed anonymous payment wagering system
US10032331B2 (en) 2015-01-20 2018-07-24 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Color alteration interleaved wagering system
US10055936B2 (en) 2015-01-21 2018-08-21 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Cooperative disease outbreak interleaved wagering system
US9978206B2 (en) 2015-03-05 2018-05-22 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Match evolution interleaved wagering system
US10242529B2 (en) 2015-03-17 2019-03-26 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Object matching interleaved wagering system
US9911275B2 (en) 2015-03-27 2018-03-06 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Multi-control stick interleaved wagering system
US10332338B2 (en) 2015-04-13 2019-06-25 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Modular interactive application interleaved wagering system
US10311675B2 (en) 2015-04-13 2019-06-04 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Level-based multiple outcome interleaved wagering system
US9947180B2 (en) 2015-05-20 2018-04-17 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Pari-mutuel interleaved wagering system
US10089825B2 (en) 2015-08-03 2018-10-02 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Interleaved wagering system with timed randomized variable
US10204484B2 (en) 2015-08-21 2019-02-12 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Skill confirmation interleaved wagering system
US10304285B2 (en) 2015-09-25 2019-05-28 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Additive card interleaved wagering system
US10083575B2 (en) 2015-09-25 2018-09-25 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Additive card interleaved wagering system
US10347089B2 (en) 2016-03-25 2019-07-09 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Variable skill reward wagering system
US10388106B2 (en) 2016-12-29 2019-08-20 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Multi-mode multi-jurisdiction skill wagering interleaved system
US10380846B2 (en) 2017-03-14 2019-08-13 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Market based interleaved wagering system
US10380836B2 (en) 2018-05-29 2019-08-13 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Networked hybrid gaming system
US10388115B2 (en) 2018-06-11 2019-08-20 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Insurance enabled hybrid gaming system
US10388107B2 (en) 2018-07-16 2019-08-20 Gamblit Gaming, Llc Resource management gambling hybrid gaming system

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