Frequently asked questions

How did you decide to make Sift?

We’ve spent a lot of time unpacking our own relationships with the news. At first, we wanted to get out of our own echo chambers and make sure we were exposed to diverse perspectives. We found that takes a lot of effort, and we wanted to make it easier for others.

Then as we started designing Sift, we identified the tension between wanting to stay informed and feeling overwhelmed by the news. It’s a widespread problem that affects the wellbeing of the majority of Americans. We believe there’s a way to stay informed and feel empowered at the same time. And as technologists, we feel we have a responsibility to help design a way forward.

Why did you start with the topic of immigration policy?

We wanted to choose a topic that’s complex, contentious, ongoing, and relevant to most Americans. Since first- and second-generation immigrants make up nearly a third of the U.S. population, we decided that immigration policy would be a compelling first topic.

How long will this experiment last?

This experiment will last as long as it takes for us to gather a meaningful amount of feedback and usage data. We expect that to take a month or two.

What happens when the experiment ends?

Sift will no longer be available in the Apple App Store after the experiment ends. You can keep the app on your phone and continue reading the content, if you’d like. Keep in mind that iOS space-saving features may delete the app if you haven’t used it for a while, and future iOS updates could make it unusable.

Does Sift use artificial intelligence, machine learning, or personalization?

Nope. Sift is designed, written, and edited by humans. Everyone sees the same content when they use Sift.

What data does Sift collect?

Sift doesn’t require an account, so we don’t collect any personal data. We do monitor how people use the app, so we can make it better. However, we can’t tell who you are when you use the app or send us feedback through it.

If you choose to sign up for our email list, your email is stored separately from any app usage data or feedback.

What does Sift do with my data?

If you sign up for our email list, we store your email in MailChimp. That’s the only personal data we collect, and it’s entirely optional.

Does Sift share my data with third parties?

Nope. The only personal data we have is your email address – if you choose to share it. And we don’t share that beyond Sift. Check out our privacy policy for more detail.

How is Sift funded?

Sift is currently supported by All Turtles, which provides both funding and expertise.

Does Sift make money?

Currently, no. Sift is starting out as an experiment, intended to help us learn whether people find news therapy valuable and, if so, in what form. If the experiment goes well, we might offer subscriptions to Sift in the future. We don’t intend to make money through advertising.

I have more questions. How can I get in touch?

Email us at