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Internet es la fuerza del bien.

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Valentino-EDH-web

Greece

Late Summer, 2016. The weeks were ticking down to the American presidential election and bogus news stories—Pope Backs Trump! Hillary Sold Weapons to ISIS!— were picking up speed. More than 8,000 kilometers away from the White House, in a small apartment in Thessaloniki, Greece, 19-year-old Valentinos Tzekas watched with concern.

“I was really curious because I never saw this kind of panic out there before. Everyone—CNN, The Washington Post—was talking about fake news, fake news,” recalls Tzekas.

Tzekas, an entrepreneurial computer whiz who had one globally-successful app to his credit, thought there must be a solution.

The applied informatics student at the University of Macedonia decided to approach fake news the way he goes after all vexing computer problems: he shut the door to his room (“the cave,” he calls it), put on his headphones to block out the world, and set about to research, then write an app to help people identify misinformation.

He wanted his program to do more than pick out truths and falsehoods. He wanted a tool to help people question what they read. “Maybe change their whole mindset about a topic.”

Fake news, he felt, was “a huge ethical problem in people’s minds. How do you solve this thing because fake news is not a technical problem. It’s an issue in the minds of the people.”

He worked alone in the apartment he shares with his brother, eating his meals at his computer and typing into the early hours of the mornings. At one point, he went ten days without leaving the house, hung up on fixing a bug in his code.

Eight months after he started, he launched his site, FightHoax.com.

It is the first AI-powered algorithm that gives anyone the ability to fact check a news article in seconds. Fight Hoax gives feedback on the author, the publication and its bias, and it highlights biased language in the story and problems with the writing quality. It provides links to other stories on the same topic but from publications representing different political views.

Currently in a private testing phase, Fight Hoax is being assessed by journalists in the United States, Great Britain, and Greece. Journalists are expected to be among the site’s chief users but Tzekas says it is intended for ordinary people.

“Right now, if you think about it, politicians and journalists have the power of truth. My mission is to give normal people the power of truth—make them more powerful without the need of having journalistic skills.”