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In Europe's Election Season, Tech Vies to Fight Fake News


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Posters for Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen in advance of Frances presidential runoff election.

A growing number of technology experts are harnessing their skills to tackle misinformation online as Europe prepares for several elections this year.

Credit: Robert Pratta/Reuters

Scientists are attempting to counter a rash of fake news spreading online as European elections loom.

For example, University of Sheffield researcher Andreas Vlachos in the U.K. is advising a global hackathon in which contestants use artificial intelligence (AI) to combat misinformation.

Meanwhile, two U.K. groups plan to use AI to automatically fact-check online claims ahead of Britain's parliamentary election in June.

French academic David Chavalarias has developed a digital tool that has vetted more than 80 million tweets about the French election, helping journalists and fact-checkers review claims spread on Twitter.

Carnegie Mellon University's Dean Pomerleau created a challenge that prompted about 100 teams worldwide to develop algorithms to predict the truthfulness of online claims.

"Algorithms will have to do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to fighting misinformation," says First Draft News' Claire Wardle. "It's impossible to do all of this by hand."

From The New York Times
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