Researchers Want to Develop Lie Detector to Weed out Lies in Social Media

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If you are one of those people who get worked up by rumors spreading in the social media such as Facebook and Twitter, University researchers from Five European universities are working round the clock to bail you out.

The researchers, led by a team from Sheffield in Northern England, are working on a system that will identify whether or not a rumor is originated from a credible source and can be verified.

The researchers have said they are hoping the lie detector will help governments, private sector and media to respond more accurately and effectively to claims emerging and being spread on the social media.

Lie detector for social media

The project, called PHEME, is an attempt to weed out tons of unreliable rumors from factual information due to the fact that social media is rife with deception, lies, fraud and propaganda.

The researchers say that such lies can have far reaching consequences on governments, private business, media, politicians, and other organizations, among others. In fact, it is almost impossible to analyze and verify most rumors in real time.

A good example of what rumors can do, can be traced to 2011 when claims emerged that London EYE observation wheel was set ablaze following London Riots.

Dr. Kalina Bontcheva of Sheffield University, who is leading the research team, says that rumors can be problematic to handle because they happen so fast and get spread at lightning speed, making it extremely difficult to sort out truths from lies. For instance, an emergency service may be forced to not make any response to calm the situation because there is no telling whether the rumor is factual.

There are four types of information the project is trying to identify—controversy, speculation, disinformation and misinformation. According to reports, the final version of the lie detector will be out in about 18 months.

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