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To fight fake news, leverage what is spreading it - The Crowd

The issue of fake news is the unwelcomed side-effect of Social Media and Connected World... 

The fake news issue is impacting elections and thus Democracy - the very fabric of modern society. The fake news issue is used to spread hatred, misguide people, and to cheat people. 

The power that spreads fake news is  - Us, we the people, the crowd, the masses. 

So why can't we design a solution that allows the crowd to stop the spread of fake news? In this post, I propose a solution to fight fake news using Crowdsourcing. 

The power of Crowdsourcing

The power of crowdsourcing is everywhere to see. In the modern digital world, we are the content creator and consumers. 

We have Wikipedia because people volunteered to add articles. We have open-source software because people volunteered to release it on platforms like Github. 

The businesses are using crowdsourcing to solve some of the most intriguing challenges through crowdsourcing platforms like Innocentive. 

Some of the most innovative start-ups are getting funded on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter. 


And this triggered the thought process in my mind to come up with the following solution. 

The Solution to Fight Fake news using Crowdsourcing

The solution is simple. Empower the users to decide what is fake and what is not. 

A high-level structure of the solution would be 

We can fight fake news by using crowdsourcing. We can empower people to tag posts, articles as fake or not and then use AI and manual scrutiny to filter results
Use crowdsourcing to Fight fake news

  1. Fake news tagging - The way social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter allows people to like and share posts. It should another button to tag article/post as Fake. People are encouraged to use this tag. 

  2. Check if its really fake news -  The articles that have got tagged as Fake News beyond a threshold limit is then pushed for the next level of scrutiny. The tagged articles can be reviewed by Human experts at the next level. It can also be used as a dataset for the AI-driven fake news detection tools. 

  3. Gamify the approach - Stackoverflow, Github, Quora, reddit are some of the most successful communities. And their success is due to their organized community management approach. They have used crowdsourcing and a point-based approach to keep the community healthy and growing. The same approach is recommended to manage the community that is helping in the fight against Fake news.

  4. The user is given credit points based on the final decision of the article. If the articles are fake, the user gets points and his credibility is increased. If the article is not fake, the user doesn’t get any points. The user should be able to display their points and badges on their profile, website, blog, etc.


Hopefully, over a while, the power of the crowd takes over and the fake news is weeded out.


A potential loophole and the solution

The people who spread fake news are geniuses. They will find out a way to sabotage this mechanism by tagging genuine articles as fake or tagging fake articles are genuine. 

To take care of this situation, the threshold value can be used. 

If articles are tagged as fake or genuine beyond certain %, then the next level of scrutiny is required. Based on the next level outcome, the tagging should be made void and the user who tagged should be barred from anymore tagging.

Do you any ideas to fight fake news, do share them using the comments. Let us make this conversation. 

Let us fight fake news together...

This post first appeared on SidsAvenue, please read the originial post: here

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To fight fake news, leverage what is spreading it - The Crowd


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