Building an instant Data Quality Service for Quotes

In yesterday’s post called Introducing the Famous Person Quote Checker the issue with all the quotes floating around in social media about things apparently said by famous persons was touched.

The bumblebee can’t fly faster than the speed of light – Albert Einstein
The bumblebee can’t fly faster than the speed of light – Albert Einstein

If you were to build a service that could avoid postings with disputable quotes, what considerations would you have then? Well, I guess pretty much the same considerations as with any other data quality prevention service.

Here are three things to consider:

Getting the reference data right

Finding the right sources for say reference data for world-wide postal addresses was discussed in the post A Universal Challenge.

The same way, so to speak, it will be hard to find a single source of truth about what famous persons actually said. It will be a daunting task to make a registry of confirmed quotes.

Embracing diversity

Staying with postal addresses this blog has a post called Where the Streets have one Name but Two Spellings.

The same way, so to speak again, quotes are translated, transliterated and has gone through transcription from the original language and writing system. So every quote may have many true versions.

Where to put the check?

As examined in the post The Good, Better and Best Way of Avoiding Duplicates there are three options:

1)      A good and simple option could be to periodically scan through postings in social media and when a disputable quote is found sending an eMail to the culprit who did the posting. However, it’s probably too late, as even if you for example delete your tweet, the 250 retweets will still be out there. But it’s a reasonable way of starting marking up all the disputable quotes out there.

2)      A better option could be a real-time check. You type in a quote on a social media site and the service prompts you: “Hey Dude, that person didn’t say that”. The weak point is that you already did all the typing, and now you have to find a new quote. But it will work when people try to share disputable quotes.

3)    The best option would be that you start typing “If you can’t explain it simply… “ and the service prompts a likely quote as: “Everything should be as simple as it can be, but not simpler – Albert Einstein”.

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