Inspiration

We wanted to tackle fake news and echo chambers on Facebook since this has been an issue that has come to light since 2016. We feel that one of the biggest issues is that people who follow certain political groups and pages are never exposed to alternative perspectives. And, despite the plethora of information on the internet, some people (us included) may be unwilling to put in the time to properly research a topic.

As a result, we came up with a solution to incentivize users to stay informed. We built a Chrome extension that injects a "Snopes" button into every Facebook post on a user's news feed. The idea is that, with a simple click of a button, a user is sent to a Snopes page with relevant topics.

What it does

Our Chrome extension analyzes elements on the Facebook news feed and performs natural language processing on each post's content to generate relevant topic tags. The user then clicks the Snopes button to easily learn about relevant topics on Snopes.

How we built it

We built this project with HTML, CSS, and Javascript

Challenges we ran into

We ran into initial challenges on our first iteration of this project, where we hoped to incorporate micropayments to incentivize users to flag fake news posts. One of the many challenges that we faced throughout the event was that we were unable to convert the framework for micropayments from Node libraries to frontend browser compatible logic.

We spent Friday and Saturday trying to make these frameworks work just to begin the early stages for our project. By 12am on Saturday night (Sunday morning), we were losing hope in our project and thought that we would be unable to finish. As we took a mental break, we pitched several random one-off ideas for fun. Suddenly, one of our team members came up with an amazing alternative to tackle fake news: helping users stay informed and providing different perspectives. We quickly pivoted our project and coded through Saturday night in order to get a working project for Sunday's demo

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Completing a finished project after pivoting our idea very late into the event

What we learned

We learned how to build Chrome extensions with HTML/CSS, Javascript, NLP libraries, webpacking, and browserify

What's next for snoper

Additional buttons for providing different perspectives, not only from Snoper, but from different news sites

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