Addressing fake news in our service

Updates to Shaping Tomorrow

We have made several changes to Shaping Tomorrow recently. To see the full list, please visit: https://dstl.shapingtomorrow.com/webtext/814. One of our most significant improvements is our new filtering system to address the increasingly biased and often fraudulent news that has been seeping into the internet’s news sources for the past few years.

On some level, this filtering system could miss some significant weak signals of change, but it will ensure that the data we produce automatically will be more reputable and reliable overall. You can always ask one of our researchers who are more adept at handling hype and rumor for a more complete view of the future.

Fake News

We’ve never added content from known sources identified as ‘Fake News’ but now our robot, Athena, is filtering each internet domain through OpenSources. This is a continuously updated and professionally curated list, the aim of which is to preserve the integrity and transparency of information on the internet.

Each is analyzed, looking for extreme biases, lack of transparency and other kinds of misinformation.

The following classification is used:

  • Fake News: entirely fabricate information, disseminate deceptive content, or grossly distort actual news reports
  • Satire: use humor, irony, exaggeration, ridicule, and false information to comment on current events.
  • Extremely biased: particular point of view and may rely on propaganda, decontextualized information, and opinions distorted as facts.
  • Conspiracy: well-known promoters of kooky conspiracy theories.
  • Rumor: traffic in rumors, gossip, innuendo, and unverified claims.
  • Propaganda: Domains in repressive states operating under government sanction.
  • Junk Science: promote pseudoscience, metaphysics, naturalistic fallacies, and other scientifically dubious claims.
  • Hatred: actively promote racism, misogyny, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination.
  • Unreliable: may be reliable but whose contents require further verification.

Here is the list of classified domains.

It is our view that anything reliable found in these sources will be quoted elsewhere and that Athena will pick these up in her daily work from more reputable sources.

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