Inspiration

Fake news has become a more and more prevalent issue with its peak time in the spotlight being in the last presidential election cycle. Many people are not able to discern information that may be real that information that may be fake so we made this chrome extension that gathers information from every user of this extension about the validity of the site.

What it does

Adds an extension icon in the chrome extension bar and generates popup windows over every link, showing the statistics about the website's trustworthiness.

How we built it

To store all of the information about each website, we used node, express, and mongodb to build a RESTful API, and hosted it on an ec2 instance. We used mostly vanilla javascript and jQuery for the extension logic, and used bootstrap and custom css for designing the look of the extension popup.

Challenges we ran into

Making sure the RESTful API's server was secure -- we used nginx and letsencrypt to make sure we could communicate with the server safely and efficiently. Most of our challenges stemmed from interacting with that API on the client side - we did not have much knowledge about how to make such requests and what events should trigger them.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are very proud of how our backend turned out and the design of the extension.

What we learned

We learned a lot about vanilla javascript and what is easy and achievable with it and what's not. We learned how to build a secure backend and learned a lot about consuming APIs.

What's next for Fake News Buster

We would like to build features into it to prevent vote brigading. We would also like to eventually create accounts that people need to log into before using the extension. We would also like to somehow incorporate machine learning/NLP to be able to detect whether a site has "fake" information pre-emptively.

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