Over the past two decades, we have witnessed a dramatic change in how people keep up-to-date with current events and how they inform themselves on relevant topics, such as politics. The Internet has given rise to a massive transformation as to how news is being produced and consumed and focus has shifted away from traditional outlets, like newspapers or radio, to other channels, such as social media, websites, and blogs. It is partly due to this development, that information has never been so abundant and so easily accessible as it is nowadays. Nevertheless, many authors argue that there have never been so many misinformed as there are today, which has led some people to dub our time as The Age of Misinformation. In the past few years, the issue of “fake news”, that is, disinformation disseminated via social media channels and the Internet with the intent to alter public perception of a particular topic, has gained widespread attention, especially in the context of politics.
verifir addresses the scalable detection and analysis of disinformation on social media in particular and the Internet in general. It encompasses two subprojects: i.) the automatic and scalable detection of disinformation in the context of news reporting, using multi-modal cues, i.e., taking different types of media into account. ii.) the diffusion of disinformation on social media which investigates how falsified news spread and how the underlying mechanisms can be exploited, in order to detect or even inhibit further dissemination.