Greek ‘Fake News’ Buster goes to Brussels

On a day when U.S. President Donald Trump proposed a ‘fake news’ competition, one young Greek went to Europe’s parliament to present a hoax-busting innovation to expose fraudulent media stories.

Twenty-year-old University of Macedonia student Valentinos Tzekas met Greek MEP Eva Kaili on Wednesday to discuss his specially designed FightHoax algorithm – a revolutionary piece of code which claims to be able to debunk fake news.

FightHoax is billed as the “world’s first AI-powered algorithm that gives anyone the power to fact check any news article, in seconds”.

Although still in the private-beta phase, FightHoax claims to expose bogus reporting by using “natural language processing techniques … to assess if a news article contains legit and trusted information.

“Our algorithm understands the content of each news article like humans do, then, it performs logical steps that human fact-checkers perform by doing comparisons.”

After Wednesday’s meeting Tzekas tweeted he was in Brussels “supporting the idea of an Internet without misinformation where users have the power of what they consume”.

Ironically, President Trump chose Wednesday to tweet his proposal for a ‘FAKE NEWS TROPHY’ to see which U.S. netowork was the most “dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me)”.

Even Greece has not been immune to the fake news phenomenon, with the country’s prime ministry in March lashing out at international newswire Reuters for apparently hosting “reports of dubious origin and zero credibility”.

FightHoax may have its work cut out for them. Research published by Stanford University earlier this year claimed “fake news was both widely shared and heavily tilted in favor of Donald Trump” with researchers’ databases finding 115 pro-Trump stories which were shared in Facebook 30 million times during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.