Scientists develop lie detector for social media

Feb 26 2014, 13:44 IST
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Scientists develop lie detector for social media Scientists develop lie detector for social media
SummaryTo chaff real news from rumour on social media, researchers are working on a software that identifies lies before they go viral online.

To chaff real news from rumour on social media, a team of European researchers are working on a software that will identify lies before they go viral online.

The task will be accomplished by the software called Pheme, a programme intended to identify rumours.

Pheme will be able to identify false information by looking at the news source, conversations that stem from the tweet, and even the tweet's language, senior researcher Kalina Bontcheva, an expert in text mining at Sheffield University, said.

The software is named after a mythological Greek goddess who personified fame and was known for spreading rumours.

Researchers hope that the programme will be able to identify sensationalist language or strong emotions commonly employed when people exaggerate.

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 idea is that Pheme would send information to a dashboard that journalists would monitor to determine the legitimacy of news on Twitter.

Bontcheva said Pheme will be most useful in times of crisis where many citizen journalists are contributing news, but that Pheme could also help in other situations ó such as verifying medical information and helping to track the spread of diseases.

"We're not trying to police the Internet," she says.

"We're not going to create a platform which looks through Twitter all the time and then say 'this tweet needs to be deleted or this person's account needs to be taken away'."

The software can be used for other social media platforms too.

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