Fake news continues to beset the internet, spreading false claims and unverified information like a wildfire. Tons of algorithms and software have already been developed to track them down but most of them are not time efficient. Bullshit Detector, a real-time fack-checking software, which is touted to be the answer to the internet's fake news debacle, is now in development.
Researchers at Full Fact, a UK-based independent fact-checking organisation, have developed what it calls the Bullshit Detector, which is designed to automatically check facts and claims. Once the software detects fabricated or false information, it immediately shows results.
The software scans statements in real-time and provides judgement instantly, a huge progress from its early version that relies on a database of thousands of manual fact-checking systems. Full Fact is working with the British Office of National Statistics and Argentina-based fact-checking organisation Chequeado on this endeavour.
"It is like building an immune system"
Bullshit Detector's system is engineered to support all three types of media: broadcast, print and online. First public testing will begin in October in the UK as part of the global campaign to combat fake news. Once proven ready for international release, the technology will also be subject to follow-up tests in South America and Africa.
The Guardian reports Full Fact has already raised US$500,000 from charitable foundations backed by billionaires Pierre Omidyar, eBay's Iranian-American founder, and George Soros, a Hungarian-American investor and philanthropist.
Full Fact's project manager Meyan Babakar tells the publication of their vision with Bullshit Detector. Full Fact and its partners are hoping to expand the project and be able to carry out fact-checks based on its own database of statistics and verified information.
"It is like trying to build an immune system. As more information goes out into the world that is wrong, what we don't have is the means of pushing back against that", says Babakar.
Social media platforms, which is massively beset by fake news, have been struggling to pull off a fully functional algorithm with a similar purpose to Bullshit Detector until now despite efforts. Hence, Bullshit Detector is planned to be released on Facebook and Twitter so users can fact-check their feeds.