This much is obvious: What the world needs now is less fake news. In general, sure, but particularly on the planet’s leading source of information: Facebook. The thing is, to separate the informational wheat from the disinformational chaffe, what you actually need is a better definition of fake news. And that’s … well … less obvious.
“What does it mean, exactly? It’s not always clear. We know, for instance that if somebody doesn’t like a story they see on Facebook that they might classify it as false, when it actually just reflects an opposing ideology,” says political scientist Gary King, director of Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. But just because you find an ideological viewpoint abhorrent doesn’t mean it’s factually incorrect.
So King wants to know: Could some clever researcher develop rules capable of classifying news as true or false—rules that could be shared with other people, [...]