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How Can Artificial Intelligence Combat Fake News?

Lets admit it! Most of us have seen and read that fake news, believed it and even shared it without verifying the facts. 

As reported in a section of media that Ebola was wreaking havoc in Texas. It was spreading like wildfire on the social landscape and these were messages from sources that sounded like authentic. This happened in 2014 and what followed were series of fake news sending shock waves across the media.

As per The New York Times, just before the presidential elections in the US, fake news and memes became the tools for perpetrators to influence the outcome of elections.

Any news becomes a fake news if the information being given is incorrect or information doesn’t represent facts that it is expected to carry.

It is important to identify if the news we are reading or watching is fake or true. And it is equally important that we dig into the fake news, identify it and prevent people from believing distorted facts.

For journalists, running after news, chasing deadline, cut throat competition, makes it very difficult to authenticate the source of the content at times. The sheer pressure of breaking the news as fast as you can leaves them with hardly anytime to verify the facts. We are flooded with so much of information that it seems impossible to identify if the content we are watching or reading is based on facts or just fake. So what’s the way out? How do we filter fake from facts?

Artificial Intelligence can rescue us as it provides certain elements, which can help us, rate the news for authenticity. Artificial intelligence is being used to find words or even patterns of words that can throw light on fake news stories.

Automated tools powered by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms that can combat fake news.

Once Big Data came into the picture, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning tools became more sophisticated and reliable.


So, how will Artificial Intelligence help us scan each and every news source?

Ways to identify fake news

Weigh Facts

An NLP engine can go through the subject of a story along with the headline, main body text, and the geo-location. Further, Artificial Intelligence will find out if other sites are reporting the same facts. In this way, facts are weighed against reputed media sources using Artificial Intelligence.

Score Web Pages

Scoring web pages is a method pioneered by the tech giant Google. Google takes the accuracy of facts presented to score web pages. The technology has grown in significance as it makes an attempt to understand pages’ context without relying on third-party signals.

Predict Reputation

With a Machine Learning model, a website’s reputation can be predicted through considering features like domain name and Alexa web rank.

Discover Sensational Words

When it comes to news items, the headline is the key to capturing the attention of the audience. Artificial Intelligence has been instrumental in discovering and flagging fake news headlines by using keyword analytics.

Are There Tools to Combat Fake News?

  • Forbes.com had given a summary of some tools used to fight fake news.
  • Spike is a tool leveraged to identify and predict breakout stories as well as viral stories. The tool analyzes mountains of data from the world of news and predicts what’s going to drive engagement
  • Hoaxy is a tool that helps users to identify fake news sites
  • Snopes is a website that helps spot fake stories
  • CrowdTangle is a tool that helps discover social content early and monitor content
  • Check is a tool from Meedan that helps verify news breaking online
  • Google Trends proves its worth by watching searches
  • Le Decodex from Le Monde is a database that houses websites that are tagged as ‘fake’, ‘real’ among others
  • Pheme has made a technology leap to read the veracity of user-generated and online content

Fake news is spreading like a plague in the media.  Artificial intelligence and Machine learning is the way to tackle fake news items. We also need to focus on educating people, to be critical thinkers, to question and to not take every story at face value.