Strange News

Professors get $300,000 grant for digital fake-news detector

Posted August 31
Updated September 1

FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump walks from Marine One across the South Lawn to the White House in Washington. Affirming its disdain for "Obamacare," the Trump administration on Thursday, Aug. 31, announced sharp cuts in programs promoting health care enrollment under the Affordable Care Act for next year. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

— Two Penn State professors have received $300,000 from the National Science Foundation to develop technology that will enable digital devices to weed out fake news.

The university says information sciences and technology professor Dongwon Lee and communications professor S. Shyam Sundar are working on the project.

Lee says fake news "has been around for decades" but has been "exacerbated" on the internet and social media platforms.

The professors plan to investigate "characteristic indicators of fake news" and develop complex formulas that will enable digital devices to recognize those indicators and purge stories that contain them.

Sundar has researched the psychology of online news consumption for two decades.

The Associated Press and other media outlets have made efforts to point out fake news, such as a recent social media headline claiming Hillary Clinton lost the popular vote.

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