Junk news aggregator aims to restore trust in media and democracy

© Georgejmclittle, Shutterstock
Junk news aggregator
aims to restore trust
in media and democracy
Developed by the Oxford Internet Institute with EU funding, the junk news
aggregator ( JNA) interactively displays articles from unreliable sources as they
spread on Facebook. Researchers hope the tool will help tackle the growing
phenomenon of misinformation on social media.
Named Word of the Year by Collins in 2017, ‘fake news’ has
slowly moved away from sensationalist and populist discourse
to anchor itself in our everyday lives. Fake news, or some would
rather say junk news, is now everywhere, starting with our own
Facebook walls. They’ve grown more credible, too: Unless you’ve
been educated to second-guess every article spreading across
your network, and have the time to cross-source information,
the odds of getting caught up in the fake news frenzy have
never been so high.
Introducing the JNA
Luckily for all of us, a group of scientists at the University
of Oxford have taken an important step in the systematic
evaluation of news credibility on social media. Their JNA
was launched in the lead-up to the 2018 US midterm elec-
tions. It can track down junk news sources on Facebook and
aggregate them on a dedicated online portal, so that none
of us can get fooled again.
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