By in news on Mar 06, 2017 |

A team of researchers from the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University is working on ways to help news consumers tell fact from fiction.

The team, led by Dr. Victoria Rubin of FIMS, has developed a program that can detect whether an article is meant to be satirical – the type of pieces that are featured in The Onion or The Beaverton.

The program is an algorithm that picks up on whether an article is using humour, absurdity, complex sentence structure, and a lighthearted approach to bad news to tell if it's real or meant as a joke.

Dr. Rubin and her team hope to eventually develop a program that can detect the type of malicious fake news that influenced the 2016 presidential election.

The program will be hosted on a FIMS website and will be up in the next few weeks.

The team of graduate students working on this project consists of Niall Conroy, Yimin Chen, Sarah Cornwell and Toluwase Asubiaro.

Written and produced by Richard Raycraft.

Image courtesy of VOA News.