The Being Alone Together: Developing Fake News Immunity project is about empowering citizens to critically understand and engage with the information manipulations they encounter on the internet, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. The main goal of this project is to reverse-engineer the manipulation of information providing citizens with the means to act as fact checkers. We believe that fostering global digital activism constitutes a necessary means to fight the current info-pandemic.
The majority of fact-checking and myth-busting sites (e.g. EUvsDisinfo, https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters) counter false narratives and news that have already become viral, unable to prevent their spread.
Leveraging NLP techniques for topic modelling and frame analysis we will trace the topics and frames which characterize semi-fake COVID-19 news using FullFact and the Coronavirus debunking archive built by First Draft as benchmarks. With the data we collect we will create a digital platform with a chatbot for training citizens to spot misinformation. Citizens who have been trained will have access to the Fake News Immunity platform, working together with experts in the common effort of flagging semi-fake news.