A new project aims to sort internet rumor and hoaxes from real news.
A lie detector for social media is being built to try to verify online rumours.
The system will analyse, in real time, whether a posting online is true.
The aim is to help organisations, including governments and emergency services, to respond more effectively to events.
The system will categorise the sources of information to assess their authority. Categories include news outlets, journalists, experts, eye witnesses, members of the public and bots – accounts that automatically generate social media posts.
It will also examine accounts for a history or background to try to identify whether the account has been created just to spread rumours.
The first set of results is expected to be ready in 18 months and will be tested mainly with groups of journalists and healthcare professionals.
It’s not at all like a lie detector test, it’s analysis of data that will make a judgement about the potential veracity of the claim. I’m really interested to see how it works and if people will even care to check whether it’s true or not.
The project is aptly named Pheme, after the Greek goddess of fame and renown. If you were in her favor you’d get notability but you wouldn’t want to feel her wrath of scandalous rumors. In short, she was kind of the gossip goddess. She was PERFECT for the internet.
Torkel Ødegård contributed to this story.
Tip: Brad Smith