The advancements in technologies have made our lives stress-free. Variety of information is now available at our fingertips. But is it truly costless? Has the enormous source of information cost us the veracity of the news? The internet is flooded with more fraudulent news, posts, and content than ever. Moreover, human fact-checkers are no match against these “fake news generators”. Furthermore, bots can fabricate thousands of headlines and entire stories in just couple of minutes. However, bots are not the only one to blame.
The study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a research university in Cambridge, proved that humans are the prime reason to spread the fake news. The study showed that Twitterati prefers fake, fabricated news, and rumors than true news. Moreover, a false story goes viral quicker than a genuine story; and the false stories about politics spread faster than the news about science, technology, terrorism, and war.
Twitter users prefer retweeting false stories and rumors. The blame was laid on robotic brethren–bots. However, humans are more responsible to spread such false content. According to the study of MIT, from 2006 to 2016, Twitter bots have spread more true stories than the fake ones. The MIT team tried to find why falsehood does so well in social networking. It concluded that false news seems more “novel” than the real news. Furthermore, a fake news triggers a “FOMO” than an average tweet.
Researchers took the advantage of artificial intelligence (AI) to solve this multi-tentacled problem. A recent study showed that with the help of AI, fake stories can be detected. To fight against fake news and posts, Facebook uses AI to detect pattern of words that usually indicate fake news. As AI is not at all new to social media, and it can learn the patterns of fake news generated by bots. Moreover, it can train itself to identify fake stories posted by people that are flagged by other social media users.
While, Facebook is just announcing the battle against fake news, Israeli startup company called AdVerif.ai has already built an algorithm to identify fake content. In November, AdVerif.ai unveiled an AI-based software that can spot fraudulent stories with an accuracy of 90 percent. The algorithm has benefited several companies of the U.S. including Nike and Adidas. AdVerif.ai fed thousands of legitimate and fake news stories to develop the algorithm. It recognizes the subtle patterns of fraudulent stories such as redundant use of adverbs, adjectives, slag words, and less use of commas and quotations. The company aims to develop a browser plug-in that can display a pop-up warning to users for a fake content.
However, AI has to go to a long way to solve this problem as detecting such fake news is close to finding a needle from a haystack. Some researchers say that the whole approach against fake stories is wrong. They believe, we do not need to find fake stories, but need to identify the real ones, which are true and unbiased. Furthermore, for every single problem in the world, AI is not always the solution. Furthermore, to fight against fake news, we need to look at ourselves, and act with conscience.