Gonna be transparent right now: I have no idea if this already exists. So be it.
In my major (Psychology), we learn to critically evaluate the origins of sources for what is valid, reliable, and thus, was derived in a way that actually means something. As in, we learn a lot about how to scan information for what is and what isn’t complete garbage. That is the purpose of a liberal arts education: to critically analyze and comprehend different aspects of information in a way that helps you draw your own conclusions and use your education productively.
Thus, I think it would be cool if there was some sort of service or app that would instantly source information. We already have this kind of information and scanning abilities through programs that help scan my school mates’ and I’s assignments for plagiarism and online cheating. If we could use it for the people who most need it so that the people who have somewhat weaker skills at critical analysis or simply have not had quite as many opportunities to receive a good education would be able to distinguish good information from bad information, and ideally train themselves how to analyze for things like sources, publishers, the year and relevancy, etc.
People do this in the context of academic journals and research papers constantly. Given that Buzzfeed is the best expert many people have, WebMD is our new Doctor, and Facebook is the new YellowPages, I think having a verifiable website run by some sort of double or triple checked agency accredited by multiple governments would be able to help people come to their own conclusions about things that are presented as facts, but in reality have very little standing weight in terms of the truth.
Now, the truth isn’t just in statistics and numbers. But the truth can certainly be skewed by them. If we have this technology, we should be able to use it. And there needs to be some sort of credibility scale that is tried and true and able to be taught to all people so that people are less easily misled and victimized via the Internet. This stuff is only going to get more and more sophisticated, it already is. In the meantime, some one probably has the know how and technical skills to help people organize, sort, and define what they need to know (the information that inspired the concept of “Boolean” searches; I dare you to Google it. It will make your life 1000 times better, even on search engines like Google).
All the best,