2023 Author: Gordon Kinson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 11:09
European experts are completing the development of technology capable of analyzing microblogging messages and detecting cases of deliberate distortion of facts. The authorities of a number of states are planning to adopt a system capable of identifying those who raise panic on social networks and distort information about real events.
The presentation of the technology, dubbed by the journalists of The Telegraph "a lie detector for Twitter", is scheduled for the second half of 2015. Officially, it was decided to call it Pheme - in Greek mythology, a goddess named Pheme is responsible for spreading gossip and legends among people. It is assumed that the system will be able to analyze on the fly every message sent to a service like Twitter, calculate the degree of its reliability and, in the case of a low level, mark it as “false”. Why this is needed and how the technology works, said a member of the international development group, Kalina Bontcheva.
The Internet is the main source of news for the population of developed countries, which for the most part does not have critical thinking. When, for fun or with insidious intent, hundreds of bloggers start posting distorted data, people believe them - mechanically. And they refuse to accept the refuting reports of the authorities, which instantly escalates the situation. A prime example: 2011, London, riots and crowds of townspeople, confident that the animals were released from the zoo, and the vital Selfridges department stores have already been burned. The police worked to their limit, spending a lot of effort to eliminate panic due to a non-existent threat, and all because almost no one believed civil servants.
The task is not to raise the authority of the authorities - it is enough to simply weed out the bulk of false messages and calm the people down. Pheme technology is able to analyze publications on news sites, social networks, microblogs, forums. This takes into account the reputation of the authors, the relevance of the topic, the intensity of passions, the presence of facts and reliable argumentation - if necessary, the system will look for confirmation on third-party resources. Explicit and disguised bots will, whenever possible, be identified and ignored, as well as hollow users who have become famous for their previous non-constructive posts.
Pheme will sort all the heap of information into 4 main groups, the first of which is assumptions, such as forecasts of a fall in the national currency rate. The second includes simple polemics on topical topics, the third will include publications with disinformation, that is, clearly distorted information about real events. Well, the fourth is just a lie, in all its vile manifestations, including in a veiled form. Developing an add-on module for different messengers that will provide each post with a label with the appropriate number is just a matter of technology.
Whether to trust such a control system or not, the users themselves will decide, there is no talk of explicit censorship yet. Moreover, the technology is complex, experimental, with a high degree of error and options for interpreting the results. Experts from dozens of scientific institutions and private structures are working on it. These are Saarland University (Germany) and Vienna MODUL University (Austria), Sheffield University, University of Warwick and Kings College (UK), ATOS (Spain), iHub (Kenya), Ontotext (Bulgaria) and Swissinfo (Switzerland). The project is financed by a grant from the European Union in the amount of 3.5 million British pounds.
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