College students build FiB to fix Facebook fake news issue in just 36 hours
College students build FiB to fix Facebook fake news issue in just 36 hoursAnant Goel via Devpost

Lately, Facebook has been facing criticism over the circulation of fake news on its platform, which is alleged to have helped Donald Trump win the US presidential elections.

Feeling the heat from tech critics and media, Facebook's co-founder Mark Zuckerberg promised to combat the fake news menace and outlined a slew of measures to plug the loop holes.

Read more: Facebook will fight fake news with better detection tools: Mark Zuckerberg

Meanwhile, a four-member group of college students -- Anant Goel (a freshman at Purdue University), Nabanita De (international second-year master's student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst), Qinglin Chen and Mark Craft, sophomores at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign -- have devised an innovative mechanism -'FiB', to curb the fake news items spreading on Facebook. They even managed to build it in just 36 hours in the recently-concluded hackathon at Princeton University, The Washington Post reported.

How FiB works?

FiB is a Chrome extension app built on an algorithm that has the capability of identifying counterfeit and genuine news items and label them accordingly.

With the use of the Chrome extension, users can tag the news article as 'verified' or 'not verified' and FiB would cross-check that particular article's source with other news reports on the internet.

If the result comes negative, FiB will provide a summary of the real story and provide link to the original source.

FiB is currently unavailable due to high demand. The developers have open-sourced the algorithm online (HERE), so that more experienced software programmers can improve the system and make it widely available.

Interestingly, Facebook and Google were two of the many technology companies to sponsor the Princeton University's hackathon. But they still haven't made any attempt to communicate with the college students.

Watch this space for more updates.

Also read