01 December 2018 12:00
Dublin City University is leading a €2.4 million EU project to tackle the issue of disinformation. The three-year project called Provenance is funded by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme and will focus on finding solutions to enable people to distinguish between original information and manipulated information or disinformation.
The Provenance approach will involve the use of a "verification layer" that will employ advanced digital technologies for multimedia analytics (including image forensics) to record any modifications to content and to identify similar pieces of content. A "verification indicator" will contextualize individual pieces of content with relevant information, including when the content was registered, by whom, and any subsequent transactions. The project solutions will be of particular relevance for consumers of news and political information but also for content creators who want to secure their content from manipulation or unauthorized use.
The project team includes academic and industry partners from four countries including the SFI ADAPT Research Centre for Digital Content Technology at Trinity College Dublin; the content intelligence company NewsWhip; the NTT Data company everis, the Institute of Information Theory and Automation at Czech Academy of Sciences; the non-profit Cibervoluntarios Foundation; and the Cognitive Science Section of Graz University of Technology. The team will work closely with citizens and content creators to address their needs and improve the digital environment for sharing content and information.
The establishment of the Provenance project reflects an acute awareness of the challenges posed for citizens by large scale disinformation, including misleading and outright false information. Project coordinator Dr Jane Suiter said: "The speed and volume of disinformation on social media has the potential to undermine democracy, business, and social reputations. This project will enable the tracking of online content and enable the level of its manipulation through web and social media platforms to help consumers and business not only track their own material but to have confidence in the content that they see online."