You're about to see a lot of political TV ads in the US (if you haven't already), and keeping tabs on them is going to be... difficult. Who paid for which ad, who are they attacking, and who's playing fast and loose with the facts? That's where the Internet Archive wants to help. It's launching a Political TV Ad Archive that will use audio fingerprinting to track federal campaign spots in 20 markets spread across eight states. In addition to preserving videos, the collection will include info on where and when the ads have aired, their sponsors and their targets.
The launch doesn't officially take place until January 22nd, and it's safe to say that this isn't a comprehensive archive in its current form. You can't simply look up the ads in any given region, and this won't help for state elections. All the same, it should be that much easier to call out politicians and campaign donors when they lie through their teeth -- they won't get to pretend that a commercial didn't exist.
[Image credit: Getty Images]