Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Fake News and Other Views

PostedJanuary 14, 2018

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LEDE: As the war on “fake news” rages on, a team of university students has come up with a new attack plan.

Randy Atkins: The idea came out of a recent worldwide hackathon. Stefan Uddenberg, a grad student at Yale, was part of a four-person team that developed a web browser extension during the 36-hour competition.

Stefan Uddenberg: It’ll read what you’re reading it can tell if those articles tend to be more left-leaning or right-leaning on those given topics.  And then it could feed you a curated list of articles about those topics but from the other side.

Randy Atkins: Uddenberg says the extension will also flag content from suspected “fake news” outlets, but won’t block it.

Stefan Uddenberg: Our approach is really to empower users to tell the difference between fake and real themselves by seeing as many different types of news articles as they possibly can.

Randy Atkins: They hope it will help reduce political polarization. The team is still developing this technology, but you can already sign up to try out a beta version in a few months at openmind.press.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.

NOTE: Stefan Uddenberg worked on this project together with Jeff An, Alex Cui, and Michael Lopez-Brau.