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Weekly News Digest

November 17, 2020 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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University College London Tool Identifies Fake News Sites as They Crop Up

Researchers at University College London and other institutions teamed up to make “a machine learning tool that identifies new domains created to promote false information so that they can be stopped before the ‘fake news’ can be spread through social media and online channels.” They published a working paper, “Real-Time Prediction of Online False Information Purveyors and Their Characteristics,” to explain their work.

The tool is an “early detection system [designed] to highlight domains that were most likely to be bad actors. Details contained in the registration information, for example, whether the registering party is kept private, are used to identify the sites. … By applying a machine-learning model to domain registration data, the tool was able to correctly identify 92 percent of the false information domains and 96.2 percent of the non-false information domains set up in relation to the 2016 US election before they started operations.”

The working paper’s authors “propose that their tool should be used to help regulators, platforms, and policy makers proceed with an escalated process in order to increase monitoring, send warnings or sanction them, and decide ultimately, whether they should be shut down. The academics behind the research also call for social media companies to invest more effort and money into addressing this problem which is largely facilitated by their platforms.”

For more information, read the press release.



Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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