You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

This Chrome Extension Rates Tweets Based On Their Credibility

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, April 28 2014

An alethiometer (bandita/Flickr)

On April Fool's Day you can't believe anything you read on the Internet. And on the other 364 days of the year you still have to use reason and common sense to avoid falling for or even spreading online rumors. Misinformation can be particularly damaging during natural disasters or other social crises if it impedes or misleads emergency response. Journalists also have to be wary of retweeting or reposting unverified information. Wouldn't it be nice if there were a way of gauging how credible a tweet may be? Well, the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) and the Precog Research Group at the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi (IIITD) are collaborating on a tool that aims to do just that.

TweetCred is a Chrome Extension (although there is also a browser version) that rates tweets on a credibility scale of one to seven.

Patrick Meier, Director of Social Innovation at QCRI, explains in a blog post:

...the higher the number of blue dots, the more credible the content of the tweet is likely to be. Note that a TweetCred score also takes into account any pictures or videos included in a tweet along with the reputation and popularity of the Twitter user.

Unlike the “social media lie detector,” Pheme, Meier writes in an email to techPresident that “TweetCred combines the best of both human computing and machine computing, which we believe is more effective.”

How does that work? If TweetCred spits out a rating you disagree with, you can tell it so, and suggest a different rating. The extension will then incorporate that information into future ratings, “learning” the more subtle differences between credible and non-credible tweets.

Another social media verification tool in the works is the EU's Social Sensor “Alethiometer,” from the Greek word for truth (also the name of the truth-telling device in the His Dark Materials books), which judges information based on the three Cs of credibility: contributors, content and context.

Meanwhile, Storyful, the news stream service partnering with Facebook, has developed their own verification technology with which to distinguish the real news from the fake.

Personal Democracy Media is grateful to the Omidyar Network and the UN Foundation for their generous support of techPresident's WeGov section.

For a round-up of our weekly stories, subscribe to the WeGov mailing list.