Social ‘lie detector’ will help journalists verify online rumours. Well that’s the theory

27 February 2014 —

“Following the rumours that came out of the London riots, researchers are developing a platform to automatically verify information from social media”

Oh really? In the body of the piece we find the following:

“Pheme [the ‘lie detector’ software] will also analyse what Bontcheva called the “propagation factor” to examine the “conversations and dialogues” around the tweet to identify any suspicion that the information is controversial or untrue.” [my emph. WB]

‘Controversial’? Not exactly the same as trying to determine whether a story is true or not. And the fact that Pheme is being developed for news organisations, doesn’t stop GCHQ, MI5 or whoever, from using it too.

A social media “lie detector” is being developed to help journalists verify rumours and other information online. The three-year project, named Pheme, is an European Union-funded collaboration between an international group of researchers led by the University of Sheffield.

Lead researcher Dr Kalina Bontcheva told that the idea for the project had come about following the circulation of rumours within tweets during the London riots in 2011, such as the false claim that animals had been set free from London Zoo.

Read the rest here: Social ‘lie detector’ will help journalists verify online rumours,, 28 February 2014


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