Starting Point, a website about youth politics created by actor Chris Evans, seeks speed and impartiality in the ideal format to attract new generations of voters
the american actor Chris Evans — internationally famous for playing Captain America in the cinematic universe of Marvel — launched, in July of last year, its Web site called Starting Point, on a topic that no one would have imagined: politics. The youth politics website aims to inform new generations of American voters about the proposals, opinions and actions of White House politicians succinctly, without cuts, without political affiliations, and without third-party comment — just the speech itself. Congressmen.
Youth policy site bets on TikTok format
The initiative Starting Point (‘starting point’, in free translation), Chris Evans’ political website that was created with two partners — Mark Kassen and Joe Kian — has a specific target audience: young people from generation Z. Comprised by the stratum of the population born between 1996 and 2012, this generation is increasingly present in the political life of the U.S, with the number of voters in this share increasing each year (the minimum age varies from state to state and sometimes even from city, ranging from 16 to 18 years old).
THE generation Z they are considered more engaged with politics and with concrete actions for change, which makes them look for politicians who can pass laws that have a direct beneficial impact. The problem is that politics has never been very friendly to laymen—at least until now.
Chris Evans comments that the idea for creating the Starting Point it came from a time when he needed specific information about political matters. While watching television, the actor heard some journalists using an acronym he didn’t know — curious, he decided to look up the meaning of this acronym on the internet. The experience was not very good, as he had to open several links and read a lot, pages and pages of online encyclopedias to understand what it was about.
Thinking to himself that there should be a way to make this information easier for everyone, especially the younger ones—who would certainly find such heavy reading tedious—Evans decided to push the idea further. As the plan would be to bring information to younger people, the format would have to fit the custom of the respective generation: Make a “TikTok about politics“, let’s say.
And it gets more interesting: who would explain the concepts, public policies would be the citizens elected to do so. With this concept, the actor began recording the opinions of congressmen who managed to address the White House. At first, only the Democrats (more progressive) spoke to him, as there was a sympathy of opinion, but when the republicans realized that it was not just a tactic to expose potentially controversial opinions or edit speeches, they also agreed to participate. This is great for Starting Point, since it eliminates any bias — both sides have their chances to air ideas and discuss what they consider most important in politics.
So, the site was created, and the format is the same: short and succinct videos of politicians expressing their opinions, making it easy to understand their political positions and what they intend to do in their time at the congress. In addition to the website itself, Starting Point it also brings a lot of activity to social networks, in this case, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter — interestingly, the institution does not have an account on the most “generation Z” network at the moment, so no debates in the TikTok for now. We say “debates” because there are also conversations between politicians on the site — in the same format, in short response videos, not quite face-to-face, and again without mediators.
Congressmen apparently feel comfortable with the format, as the absence of an intermediary between the information they spoke and the final video avoids distortions, biased interpretations and misinformation. In this way, even hairy subjects can be approached with more security and ease, like a common video on social networks. Speaking of which, one of the important points for Evans is that the environment wasn’t toxic as it often is on the internet — there are no comment or reaction sections, so no one participating in the debate need fear attacks on the platform.
Although he considers himself progressive and more aligned with the Democrats, Evans believes it is important to give the floor to both sides of US politics. Any politician on the platform can speak as he pleases — the only things prohibited are conspiracy theories, misinformation, and baseless claims. Starting Point, in the end, gives the youngest American electorate in history an easy, intuitive, and informative way about everything they’d like to know about politics and didn’t have the patience to pursue — and it will certainly help them make better voting decisions. , charge elected politicians and understand national political movements — mainly because they will better understand what their elected politicians think.
For now, the innovative idea is only available in English — as it only covers US politics — but it’s too good a project to stay in North America, isn’t it?
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Sources: Newsweek | Starting Point