Fake News is everywhere. They have become one of the most effective and most used tools for extremists, news organisations or even heads of states to influence people and their opinion. The American Election in 2016 or the activities of the ‚Alternative für Deutschland‘ are probably
the most famous examples of the usage of fake news, but many aren’t aware of the fact that fake news is used far more often, specifically in regional levels.
Checkpoint is an online application to check the news on social media networks. Planned are a website and an app for smartphones. A direct embedding of our software into existing social media networks is also possible.
The concept is easily explained with the help of an example:
Let’s assume a person tweets that French President Emmanuel Macron is gay, a second person sees this tweet and doubts its veracity. So he or she decides to use Checkpoint. He or she can either send the tweet to Checkpoint’s social media sites or formulate a request on Checkpoint’s website.
The request is then processed by Checkpoint. First, an algorithm developed by Checkpoint scours the Internet for confirmed facts which provide information about the request, such as an interview with Macron or a press release.
First algorithm, then manual work if necessary
Then, the algorithm evaluates the tweeter’s credibility based on previous tweets. If, for example, it turns out that this person has tweeted several fake news stories in the past, it is considered “untrustworthy”.
If the person’s previous tweets match confirmed facts, they will be considered “credible”. Of course, all this happens only with tweets that are newslike, objective, and do not contain personal content. If the person has not tweeted anything in the past, it is classified as “uncertain”.
Only if the algorithm finds several credible sources supporting the claim, the algorithm will report back to the second, requesting person “Yes, the statement is correct”. Vice versa, of course, the same applies; only if the algorithm finds many credible sources that contradict the claim will he reply to the second person saying “no, this is fake news.”
If the algorithm cannot find a clear result, then human work is required. In this case, Checkpoint employees could, for example, send a request to the spokesman of Macron. In this context, it must be said that Checkpoint, of course, cannot find out the truth or make any statements with 100% guarantee, but that Checkpoint is a service that works in a journalistic framework.