When Snapchat was first pitched as part of a Stanford mechanical engineering class, the course’s horrified teaching assistant openly wondered if the app’s creators had built a sexting app. Less than a decade later, Snapchat could help solve one of the biggest problems currently facing tech: stopping the spread of “fake news” online.

With this goal in mind, Snap Research — the research division of Snap, Inc. — recently donated funding to a University of California, Riverside project, aiming to find a new way of detecting fake news stories online. The algorithm UC Riverside has developed is reportedly capable of detecting fake news stories with an impressive accuracy level of up to 75 percent.

With Snap’s support, they hope to further improve this. “As I understand it, they’re very interested in having a good grasp on how one could understand this problem — and solve it ultimately.” “Snap is not one of the first companies that would come to mind given [this problem],” Vagelis Papalexakis, Assistant Professor in the Computer Science & Engineering Department at UC Riverside, told Digital Trends.

“Nevertheless, Snap is a company which handles content. As I understand it, they’re very interested in having a good grasp on how one could understand this problem — and solve it ultimately.” What makes UC Riverside’s research different to the dozens, maybe even hundreds, of other research projects trying to break the fake news cycle is the ambition of the project.

It’s not a simple keyword blocker, nor does it aim to put a blanket ban on certain URLS. Nor, perhaps most interestingly, is it particularly interested in the facts contained in stories. Read more from digitaltrends.com…

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