Any awareness raising activity regarding the possible penetration and diffusion of bad information is necessary. Although it is not possible to limit free speech nor to "prevent stupid people from being amazed", research and reporting activities could contribute to hindering the spread of false news.
What T2 solves
With this project, the team wants to offer its contribution in order to mitigate the spread of false news, trying to stem the spread by intervening on the most critical aspects and proposing solutions suitable for: -- filter fake news by category (future development); -- perform the centralized collection of news, data and information URL (also of a local nature); -- prepare a digital environment on which to make available through API to authorities and citizens, reliable sources of information and alerts regarding Covid-19 and fake news in this regard.
How we made T2 - Project operations steps
DATABASE PREPOPULATION System to retrieve true information from the remote source through RSS and XML feeds taken from authoritative publications that publish information divided by category online.
ARCHIVING - storing links in the database Cataloging of links from remote sources on the web service database by dividing them by category:
- From the world
- Local news
- Science and technology
CONTROL Control system via API that compares the searched link with the link previously stored on our database. The URLs being researched will remain stored on the DB and will have to go through a certification process before they are deemed reliable or not. We have two levels of users: simple navigators and navigators authenticated with Chrome OAUTH. Users can report if a news item is false or not: if the user has OAUTH a weight will be assigned; unauthenticated users will be allowed to give their opinion but will not influence the outcome of the score evaluation. Authenticated users will be assigned an automatic rating by the system based on the truthfulness of the news they report: subsequently the score assigned by them to the truthfulness of a news will increase or decrease. Authenticated users can report the truthfulness of the news through Blockchain. System administrators will be able to indicate scores in the reserved area that authenticated users must reach in order to become certifiers. You can incentivize the user certification process through rewards (gamification).
CERTIFICATION Depending on the number of searches for the same news / URL, a "higher" authority will verify its reliability and confirm its archiving (within our database) as certified. The higher authority will also have a backend page through which it can add new links and certify them. The higher authority will be able to define validated automatic limits which a user will automatically become "certifier" or can perform this operation manually.
PUBLICATION - public consultation environment Page and / or "press review" section showing a list of news items (linkable title + summary) with a "traffic light" icon next to it indicating whether the news is verified and the degree of certified authority. Features -- Web API that provides access to all the cataloged links with relative truth score. -- Forum with discussion topics.
INTEGRATION Plugin for Chrome browser which alongside each link of the Google search results is able to show the traffic light icon (with different statuses: red, yellow, green, not yet evaluated) which will represent the degree of truth of the link. When the news becomes certified it is no longer possible for users to make their own contribution. Users can click on a "Report as True" button (like) or "Report as False" (I don't like) next to the news.
Challenges we ran into
Due to the vastness of the topic and to the countless actors in the field of communication, being able to find a good compromise between the volume of data to be analyzed and response times, involved long meetings and heated discussions between colleagues with skills and different disciplines but all tuned to the desire to provide each one, their own contribution to the fight against the virus also through techniques and technological solutions that are an obstacle to the propagation of bad sources of information.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
I have to admit that I couldn't be as happy to have deployed such a beautiful team on the field ... if not for the birth of my baby! A "creation" of intent with a strong personality: a structured project with well-established human skills behind it, capable of conceiving, designing and creating blocks of code and integrations that communicate with each other, creating a software product capable of coping with this emergency.
What we learned
We are doing it! And if we do it together it's more beautiful! The years of study, the first work experiences "with head down", taught us how to apply skills; this hackathon teaches us that the team is immense: that there should be no limits .. and that collaboration has no boundaries. The different regions, a different language, represent only opportunities for personal and professional growth and never will be an obstacle.
What's next for Truth-Teller - T2
The project we present, although incomplete and needs further integration, has for its basic structure all the necessary characteristics to be exploited not only now in this bad emergency period, but will take on further cohesion and reputation if adopted every day; it must be the "daily filter" to guarantee impartiality and honesty of information. It must represent a solid deterrent to false news and be perceived as an integral part of any device connected to the internet. As coordinator, I would like to thank the whole Organization on behalf of the team for the opportunity given to us and for the tiring but beautiful community experience.