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‘Lie detector’ for social media on the way

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Published : 2014-02-21 14:30
Updated : 2014-02-21 14:30

A system that could identify the accuracy of information on social media is being developed by five European universities, AFP reported.
The three-year project, PHEME, named after the Greek mythological character who was famed for spreading rumors, is being funded by the European Union.

With Sheffield University at the helm, two colleges from the United Kingdom -- King’s College London and Warwick -- along with Saarland University in Germany and MODUL University Vienna are participating in the project.

“Social networks are rife with lies and deception,” the project leaders said in a statement. She added that the rumors spread rapidly, making it difficult to respond.

The researchers told AFP on Tuesday that they hope the system will allow governments, emergency services, media and the private sector to respond more effectively to claims emerging and spreading on social media before they get out of hand.

The goal of the project is to classify information on social media into four categories -- speculation, controversy, misinformation and disinformation -- then model the process through which the rumors spread.

The veracity of the information will be identified through the information itself, by cross-referencing it with trustworthy data sources and studying the information’s diffusion.

The Times newspaper noted that the EU may be presented with a final version within 18 months.

By Ha Ji-won, Intern reporter (

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