Technology to counter misinformation/disinformation
Submitted by Pratik Sinha (@pratiksinha) on Sunday, 17 June 2018
Section: Crisp talk Technical level: Intermediate
A lot of fact-checking tasks can be automated via technology as there are repeated instances of fake videos and images that are distributed with different narratives. With misinformation/disinformation killing people in India now and also being weaponised to attack the social fabric of the country, it is must that those working in various related technologies come together to fight against this menace. A lot can be done in the open source domain to ease fact-checking by creating software stacks than can identify old content that is recirculated on social media in terms of text, images and videos against a known database of such content. Essentially, the Google Reverse Image search technology and Youtube Content ID in open source.
Once such a stack is available, mobile apps can be created which can be used to help people with fact-checking for the content that they receive on social media and chat apps.
This is a call for the tech community to come together and create open source technlogy which can help fight misinformation/disinformation. The technology created will be useful not only in the Indian context but also in the global context.
I’m the co-founder of Alt News, a fact-checking website which has been working on the issue of misinformation/disinformation since Feb 2017. Previously, I have a background in software engineering having worked in the wireless/embedded field for over 13 years in India, US and Vietnam. With my experience with Alt News and my previous experience of working on some cutting edge technlogies, I am able to envision how technology can play a very important role in this fight against misinformation/disinformation.