As part of its Digital News Initiative (DNI), Google announced a €150 million innovation fund that supports innovation in Digital News Journalism. In its most recent round of funding, Google supported “Check-it: Visualizing fake news on social media”, a collaborative project between FORTH and University of Cyprus.
Check-it empowers users with the tools they need in order to check whether the stories they read on-line are fake or not. In this way (i) users will be able to see if what they read is fake, and (ii) they may be reluctant to forward news which are known to be fake. The main problem that this project tries to address is that when users view news on social media they usually have little, if any, means to decide whether the information they see is real or fake. Although it is true that some social media allow users to report any fake news they see, most of the social media out there do not provide such functionality. Therefore, they place all the burden of deciding whether a story is fake or real on the end user. In this project we propose to change the way people consume digital news by empowering users with an automated ability to “check” whether a story is fake or not. Towards this end, the project extends the web browser capabilities with a “check it” button (a browser plug-in) that will enable users to check whether a story is true or fake.
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