Citizens need good information in order to make good decisions so navigating the mountain of information available at their fingertips has become more difficult. As we have seen with Covid19 false information, deliberately created with the express purpose to cause harm can be very dangerous. People currently need clear, science based and professional advice on how best to act during these times. The problem is there are a lot of bad faith actors spreading incorrect and misleading information.

The best and worst thing about the internet is anyone can publish anything. The incentives for publishers of content have changed, speed, number of clicks and amount of sharing has become more important than accuracy. Due to this there has been a serious issue with the spreading of fake news. The accuracy doesn’t matter, it's the number of ad views.

Governments and the big technology companies have differing interests so we dismissed the idea of legislation or forcing companies to behave a certain way. A better solution in our opinion is to put the power in the hands of the reader. By providing additional tools to critically evaluate the content they are reading and monitor the quality of the content over time.

What it does

The solution consists of a browser plugin, a button on the toolbar can be clicked to get the content evaluation results. The metrics used to evaluate the content are what we are working on at the moment. Content analysis can indicate the sentiment of the article, identify hate speech and clickbait. In addition information about the author and the publisher of the article is displayed. We are also discussing image analysis doing a reverse image search of images on the page. Other tools can include a tracker to show the reader what other websites are tracking the article. Over time the user will be able to view a chart showing their media consumption over time and get an overview of the quality of content they are reading.

How I built it

Based on the idea to educate people to critical thinking, giving them tool. Over the course of the hackathon, 25 plus collaborators mainly based in Dublin, Ireland but from all across the globe came together and worked tirelessly with positivity and a great sense of Irish ‘craic’ to enter the competition. The world will be fine with people like this in it. Creating 3 different project with flying members going from the video team, to the prototype team, to the written paper team. Working together, laughing together, helping each other and doing our best.

Challenges I ran into

The time frame is short, using new tools and working in a team remotely.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Sharing the plugin and ​educating others about the quality of information they are viewing and promoting contributes positively to the newscycle, and supports reliable and verifiable news and media literacy on the Covid-19 online material.

What I learned

Empowering and informing individuals on the nature of the information they are viewing and sharing has a broader value across all online information, not just information relating to this pandemic.

What's next for IADT_Cyberpsych

More Hackathons.

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