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Pheme Exposes Twitter Lies
By: Jessica Cherok
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If some European researchers have their way, you won’t be able to lie on Twitter anymore without being found out.

The researchers, working on a software called Pheme, are seeking to stop the dissemination of incorrect information on the social media site. Twitter has been hailed in the past for providing breaking news — often even before traditional news outlets. But the quick pace at which news travels on Twitter makes it difficult to vet what’s reliable before it goes viral.

The resulting misinformation can be annoying, and in some cases, harmful. In the case of natural disasters, where critical information is — well, critical — a wrong tweet can negatively impact thousands of people.

Pheme’s goal is to stop all that. The software would measure things like news source, the wording of the tweet, and surrounding tweets related to the original tweet. From these, Pheme would be able to determine the legitimacy by weeding out sensationalism and exaggeration.

The software could be used by journalists and government officials to determine how reliable a tweet is. While Pheme wouldn't completely do away with the need to check credibility, it would hopefully cut down on some of the noise.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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