Students develop software to combat fake news

Washington Examiner | 1/13/2018 | Kyle Turnage
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A group of college students from Yale University has developed a software that may be able to identify and combat fake news.

The software, called Open Mind, was conceived during Yale’s annual hackathon called “YHack.” The competition involves students developing software for a number of different tasks such as solving a social problem or starting a new business. The software will function as an extension for Google Chrome.

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The software has two functions. First, it warns users whenever they click on a website that the students have deemed as likely to peddle fake news.

Henever - Websites - Warning - Screen - Fake

“[W]henever you visit one of those websites, you get a big red warning screen that says this is more than likely fake; please consider reading basically anything else. Here are some suggestions,” Stefan Uddenberg, one of four students who created the fake news detection program, told Red Alert Politics.

However, the software doesn’t censor its users.

Link - Website - Uddenberg

“[I]f you really want to … you can click on this link to continue seeing the website you originally wanted to visit, even though it’s probably fake,” Uddenberg continued.

The second function of the software is to show alternative viewpoints to the user. Open Mind will offer related articles so users can see a different perspective.

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“Suppose you’ve been reading a lot of articles about a particular politician that are very negative toward them. Our software would suggest to you articles about the same politician but maybe from the other side of the aisle, with a more positive spin on what that politician has been doing,” Uddenberg explained.

The software works to combat online news bias by trying to expose readers to articles on the same topics but from various perspectives. The solution to finding truth is more information, not less.

Approach - Fake

“We use a psychologically motivated approach to combating fake...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Washington Examiner
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