WeSearchr: Frequently Asked Questions
Crowdfunding journalism?!? How does that even work?
- A Bounty is a request for the publication of specific information that is of journalistic value.
- Providing the Answer to the requested information results in a financial reward to the Researcher and the Asker.
- The Bounty has a Deadline, after which the information is worthless.
- Bounties are crowdfunded. A Proposed Bounty has a Minimum, which is the amount of money required to be raised to make it a Wanted Bounty.
- When an Asker publishes a Proposed Bounty, anyone in the world can contribute money towards the Bounty via credit card, PayPal, or Bitcoin.
- Anyone in the world can be a researcher and submit an Answer to the Bounty, uploading documents, video or other evidence that fulfills the conditions of the Bounty.
- When a Proposed Bounty reaches the Minimum amount, it becomes a Wanted Bounty and the Asker will begin reviewing any Answers that have been submitted.
- Contributors are encouraged to keep increasing the amount of a Wanted Bounty beyond the Minimum amount, as that amount may not be enough to encourage the release of the desired information. The higher the amount, the greater the incentive for that information to come to light.
- The Asker reviews all Answers received and decides if an Answer fulfills the Bounty conditions. If the conditions are fulfilled by a combination of Answers, the Asker is allowed to accept multiple Answers.
- If Answers are chosen by the Asker and those choices are approved by WeSearchr's senior editors, the Asker has the right to publish it in the outlet of their choice. If desired, WeSearchr can help find an appropriate outlet for the Answer.
- After the story has been published, we allow for a 30 day period in which any challenge to the authenticity of the research can be made. If no credible challenge is made within 30 days, the Bounty award will be distributed.
- 75% of the money raised goes to the Researcher, who provided the Answer. 10% goes to the Asker for writing and promoting the Bounty. WeSearchr keeps 15% for site costs, payment processing, and overhead.
What if the Bounty is never solved or a Proposed Bounty never reaches the Minimum amount?
When the Deadline runs out, all Contributors will have their full contribution returned to their WeSearchr account. Those funds can then be distributed among any other Bounties offered by WeSearchr.
If no other Bounty is appealing enough the Contributor may request a refund. In that event WeSearchr will refund 85% of the amount contributed, keeping 15% to offset payment processing and other costs.
How can whistle-blowers use WeSearchr?
People with inside information about illegal activities or other information of journalistic value can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we find the information credible and appropriate to the site we will create a Proposed Bounty that describes the information being offered by the whistle-blower, and set a Minimum funding goal to be met as per that whistle-blower's financial requirement. If contributors to that Bounty reach the Minimum amount, WeSearchr will arrange for the information to be published by ourselves or another media outlet.
If you're a whistle-blower with relevant, newsworthy information, and you would like to use the Wesearchr platform, please contact us directly at email@example.com.
Can I use WeSearchr to dox or harass people?
No. WeSearchr is a journalistic enterprise that publishes information of journalistic value that is in the public interest. Bounties seeking information that is not publishable or is not of any journalistic relevance will not be approved. All Proposed Bounties are reviewed by WeSearchr senior editors before being opened for contributions.