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August 26, 2014

NOTHING CREEPY ABOUT THIS: Government to Track ‘False, Misleading’ Ideas on Twitter.

The National Science Foundation is financing the creation of a web service that will monitor “suspicious memes” and what it considers “false and misleading ideas,” with a major focus on political activity online.

The “Truthy” database, created by researchers at Indiana University, is designed to “detect political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution.”

Yeah, I’m not worried that a database named for a Colbert slam at the right will be subject to political abuse or anything. The researchers are:

Program Manager: Balasubramanian Kalyanasundaram

Filippo Menczer [email protected] (Principal Investigator)
Alessandro Vespignani (Co-Principal Investigator)
Alessandro Flammini (Co-Principal Investigator)
Johan Bollen (Co-Principal Investigator)

I’ll be watching to see how this is used, and encourage everyone else to do the same. Remember when protest was patriotic? Now, apparently, it’s been fundamentally transformed.