Opening Ceremony talks, sponsors and the Chrome Extension Hackpack provided by Tree Hacks was the combination of inspiration that brought this idea to my mind. Also, social media is for sure a platform where awareness is needed. While Facebook and individual heroes are working hard with advanced ML solutions, I spent my time on creating a prototype of what could be a very straight-forward solution for awareness on social media. In future cooperation with someone else's ML code, it could develop to be something really good!
What it does
The algorithm is not too advanced, keywords from viral fake news are compared to post content of the users on Facebook. My resources this weekend (myself, 10 hours of coding, and 5 merchandise t-shirts) was obviously not enough to create a deep learning model who could accurately tell if a post is fake or not - let's say all keywords are there - but the post might also add that it's not true. Thus, I made the decision to just inform the user about the fact that the subject seems to be something many people have different thoughts about. Simply, adding awareness as soon as possible.
How I built it
I downloaded the hackpack from GitHub and got familiar with the code. I figured out how to change the content and appearance of a website (and took the opportunity to do a small hacker-prank to a friend while learning - which also reminded me about how easy it is to create fake content). Later on, I created a Wix website as a platform for gathering recent fake news. When the Chrome extension BeAware detects a subject I wanted to forward the user to more information about the topic. Since the data along the keywords was stored in a database in Wix, I wrote a REST API in the Wix backend for allowing HTTP-requests.
Challenges I ran into
All Facebook posts are not loaded at once. So when the user is scrolling down the content checks needs to be done again - but not for the ones who were already processed. Also, the element hierarchy was important to take into account; some posts are build up of one div with one or several paragraph elements, while some have yet another nested div. Also, lesson learned once again: read the documentation carefully.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Starting Saturday afternoon by myself I'm happy with my achievements! Especially not giving up after hours of bug-fighting.
What I learned
Creating a Chrome Extension was new to me and I'm happy I chose to try something new. Also, I had a first good impression of Vix and will continue exploring their software.
What's next for BeAware - Chrome Extension
BeAware will meet the judges and be happy to get constructive feedback :)