There has been quite a bit of discussion about the widespread distribution of fake news through social media and the web in general. Checking the validity of news and limiting the dissemination of fake news is a hard research problem. We want to build an open platform to collect and distribute factual news and advance the state-of-the-art of automatic and crowd-sourced fact checking and news dissemination and visualization.
PoliticalNews.org is a non-profit, nonpartisan, open platform and research project. All the code will be open source and all the data will be public and free. The main components of the platform will be:
- Data ingestion pipeline, including a news crawler to add new content to the site daily;
- Wiki-based content authoring, which will allow the creation of new original content, comments and annotations on crawled content, and links to other news sources. Like in Wikipedia, all the history will be preserved and editors will participate in a reputation system, which will take their contributions into account;
- Automatic fact-checking, which will run for every new content added to the site. We want to create a public fact-checking interface and allow researchers to contribute by developing new fact checking algorithms and refining existing ones. We envision that PoliticalNews.org will integrate and display results for several fact-checkers and will use crowd-sourcing to refine them;
- PoliticalNews.org will provide a Wikipedia-like interface for news articles, but we hope to develop alternative distribution mechanisms, such as social media apps. We also hope that researchers will use the data from PoliticalNews.org to investigate and advance the state-of-the-art of news visualization and dissemination.
We are currently working to build a first version of the platform. There are several ways that you could contribute:
- Writing code;
- Producing and curating data;
- Disseminating this manifesto;
- Promoting PoliticalNews.org when we go live in January 2017.