The Trump campaign and emerging administration are in many ways unprecedented—and dangerously so—in American history. The volume of news and controversy generated is also unprecedented. Trump has often suggested “opening up” libel laws—a direct assault on the First Amendment and its protection for citizens. Presterity is a tool to be used in defense of those rights.
Presterity is a community project that grounds and orients citizens to the best available sources of information on a wide variety of related topics. Our mission is to document and inform, ideally limiting the damage Trump can do.
Presterity is staffed by volunteers. We accept no advertising and our funding comes from our organizers.
Presterity seeks contributions from across the political spectrum and is strengthened by information gathered by a range of observers. The only prerequisite is that a contributor be alarmed by Trump and his actions.
Presterity seeks to enable crowdsourcing of flagged events of concern such as:
- conflicts of interest;
- threats to constitutional rights;
- degradation of the office of the presidency;
- a general weakening of the Republic.
Presterity will compile authoritative documentation of specific concerns and patterns of behavior for the purposes of:
- informing the public;
- organizing protest;
- influencing legislation;
- supporting other forms of resistance;
- providing individuals and organizations with a way to focus collective energy towards action, constructive change and patriotic service.
How Presterity Works
Presterity aggregates relevant content gathered directly by project members monitoring the activities of the Trump administration. Material is also submitted via the project's Twitter account. (See the Submit News page for details.) Project writers and editors then shape this material into a wide range of topic pages. The complete material is then published on the project's public web site at presterity.com.
- a collection of facts and the identification of patterns of concerning behavior;
- presented clearly and without jargon or euphemism as in-depth background on all matters related to the Trump administration;
- a resource for everyone working on the front lines to highlight and contain damage caused by the new administration;
- trustworthy, thorough, factual, clear, direct, and illuminating;
- built from sources that are trusted, vetted and accountable;
- guided by a collective editorial vision and standards;
- available to everyone;
- intended to assist users in forming their own opinions, developing them into statements, articles, speeches, activism, legislative efforts and so forth.
Presterity is not:
- an attempt to change the minds of Trump, his cabinet, or the politicians and voters who support him;
- designed to form collective opinions or judgments among project members.
The Presterity wiki
The core of the Presterity project is a wiki authored by volunteer contributors. Wikipedia is proof that wikis can enable community writing at scale. What we believe is needed in this circumstance is something more focused and opinionated than Wikipedia.
As differentiated from Wikipedia, Presterity:
- begins with a focus on and a deep skepticism of the Trump administration;
- can go into much more detail than Wikipedia on topics in this area;
- has a loose, trust-based process for vetting new contributors;
- tries to screen information more vigorously than Wikipedia;
- is not encumbered by a need to provide "balance" with positive coverage for Trump and his administration. (Trump and his supporters will surely see to that.);
- ensures that entries are vetted and posted by a trusted team (whereas Wikipedia pages can be edited and altered by those with a bias or personal stake in information).
For example, consider Wikipedia’s page for the Carrier Corporation. It has a few sentences for Trump and Pence’s Carrier jobs deal, although it doesn’t mention Pence or any of the deal's terms. The language in the entry is corporate blandspeak.
Compare that with the current Presterity page for the Carrier Corporation Jobs Deal. That page goes into as much depth as possible, with a timeline of events, analysis of why the deal is less helpful than it appears, and offering links to related societal topics. Such an in-depth and thoroughly skeptical look at the Carrier deal doesn’t belong on Wikipedia, but does have a home on Presterity.
Many wikis allow open participation by anonymous users, but that likely wouldn't work for this material. Instead, the project invites people to join the project as writers, editors, technical staff, and so on.
If you are interested in participating, please see the Volunteering page.