Sean Parker, who co-founded the music file-sharing service Napster and helped Facebook get off the ground, is looking to change the conversations Americans have about democracy. Over the last year, Sean Parker and his team of engineers have been working hard on a new app called Brigade, which inspires people to engage in debates over political positions.
On Wednesday, Sean Parker, announced the Brigade Beta app for iOS and Android. Brigade is essentially a platform where users can express what they think about important issues in the news. They can also see where their friends stand and debate the topic in the app. You simply take a yes or no position on any given issue in the app, and your view will be posted in the newsfeed for all to see. Brigade will also tell you how many users share your thoughts on the same issue.
After you’ve taken a stance on a few issues, your profile will start to form. At that point, you can compare your overall political mindset to your friends’ and families’ points of view. Users can also write their own issue cards to see who agrees with them, and get matched with campaigns based on their interests. Of course, all the opinions are shareable on other social networks.
Parker and his team see Brigade as less of a political version of Facebook or Twitter, and more as a platform for inspiring open engagement in political debates. The team hopes the app will encourage young people to get active in politics and take a stand.
“When we were thinking about how to engage people in politics, most people say they don’t care about politics. They hate politicians. Congressional approval ratings are at a historic low,” Sean Parker told TechCrunch. “Trust in government is at a historic low. From one point of view, the system is about as broken as it can be, but when we interview users, we find that everyone has an issue they care about or something that they want to change the world.”
The company says that it will be adding more features in the future, including giving users the ability to start groups with like-minded friends and analytics for campaign partners, as their user base grows. If you’re interested in sharing your opinions with the world on Brigade, you can request an invite here.