How Can We Fix the Fake News Problem?

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Turning to AI and ML to combat fake news

In order to ensure the content is coming from a trustworthy source, traditional tools like authentication, penetration testing, and security audits just aren’t effective, said Matt Kollmorgen, VP of Digital Media at SoftServe. Instead, machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML and AI) may be the answer to sniffing out fake news. By leveraging machine learning and AI techniques, systems can be set up to identify potential fake news, which can then be flagged for human intervention or perform a quick index against trusted news sources for credibility validation. Machine learning can also start to build a score around news items to determine the level of credibility.

"Fake news is in the eye of the beholder; what is promotional or opinionated to one is downright false to another," said Chris Olson, CEO of The Media Trust.

Fake news has been around for a long time, in one form or another, but in 2016, it roared to life as clickbait, made-up articles and phony websites proliferated in social media. It helped shape the presidential election. As NPR reported, for example, Twitter bots spread fake news that was repeatedly retweeted and shared, including by Donald Trump.

Is fake news a security issue? Some say yes, as it is can be used as a social engineering tool to spread disinformation and conceivably to get unsuspecting users to click on malicious links.

"In today's digital economy," Olson said, "consumers demand a malware-free, private and non-intrusive experience. Media publishers and social platforms are addressing these demands by adopting security, data protection and performance standards. What's more important is that they are enforcing these standards with the multitude of upstream partners involved in rendering content and directly affecting the overall user experience."

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google are taking the right steps, Josh Ginsberg, CEO and co-founder with Zignal Labs added. "They’ve offered in-product resources for users to help them and partnered with independent fact-checking organizations to help flag disputed content. But weeding out fake news requires a combination of factors, with data and analytics playing a key role."

What is the state of fake news on social media and what is being done to combat it?

 

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