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People are bad at differentiating between the truth and fake news. Will a computer program succeed in it?

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Scrolling through news online is always like is it true or just another misinformation?

Sometimes misinformation is easy to detect. But at times people are very good at blending in fiction into the fact. But a person who does not think like an investigator will always get easily fooled by an online misinformation.

In this era of online misinformation you should be more vigilant to what you believe online, because if you do not, then you are definitely playing an equal role of spreading false news as the others. In 2016, according to BuzzFeed news analysis, during the U.S. election, the false news got more shares, comments and reacts than the news that was actually true. This allowed many childish teenagers to earn money.

When there was nothing named internet, “you could not have a person sitting in an attic and generating conspiracy theories at a mass scale,” said Luca de Alfaro, who is computer scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Not everyone is spreading false news on purpose, some are just sitting back, scrolling through their social media account newsfeed and suddenly they come across some news that is hard to believe or something that sounds interesting, this is the time when a person will like to share the post or retweet the tweet to know what it is about from his/her followers or friends. Even though this person does not have an intention to misinform other people but, in a way or another the person have now played his/her part in misguiding a few others, whom in return will misguide a few more and this cycle will continue until the the truth comes out and that also never might happen. “When you’re dealing with unfiltered information, it’s likely that people will choose something that conforms to their own thinking, even if that information is false,” stated Fabiana Zollo, who is a computer scientist at Ca’ Foscari University of  Venice in Italy. He studies how information spreads on social media platforms.

Whether you do it intentionally or due to your negligence, both are unacceptable due to the serious consequences it can cause. Some rumours can even lead to death, and an example of this are the rumours spreading on WhatsApp that resulted in illegal killings in India this year. This incident costed lives of a dozen people.

To minimize this issue, programmers are working on an automated system that can judge the authenticity of a news it comes across. This will provide a final verification to the news you come across to.

Programmers are facing a hard time finalizing their set of agreed upon opinions relating fake and true news. This is really hard as fake news is also sometimes very close to the truth due to the manipulation there is done to the finest. A lot of research is still needed to finalize the automated system.