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Truth is Powerful

Climate change: How machine learning holds a key to combating misinformation


“A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on.”

This quote appears in many forms . In some variants, the quote involves footwear. In other cases, the truth is struggling to get its pants on.

Regardless of the details, the sentiment encapsulates a key challenge of misinformation. By the time the meticulous task of fact-checking is complete and the correction has been disseminated, the misinformation has already spread widely and achieved all sorts of mischief.

Consequently, misinformation researchers speak wistfully of the “ holy grail of fact-checking ” – automatically detecting and debunking misinformation in one fell swoop. Machine learning offers the potential of both speed and scale – the ability to identify misinformation the instant it appears online, and the technical capacity to distribute solutions at the scale required to match the size of the problem.

But the holy grail quest faces a seemingly insurmountable hurdle. Misinformation evolves and sprouts new forms. How can you detect a myth before you even know what it is or what form it will take? Misinformation and climate change

When it comes to misinformation about climate change, you often hear the terms “ whack-a-mole ” or “ […]

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