PAP, GovTech Polska offer #FakeHunter open source code

The #FakeHunter service is available at https://fakehunter.pap.pl/ PAP

The Polish Press Agency (PAP) and GovTech Polska, a Polish government technological agency, have decided to offer an open source code to their landmark #FakeHunter fake news-busting software to anyone interested.

Following the success of the #FakeHunter project, its creators, PAP and GovTech, have decided to offer the source code to the disinformation-fighting tool to other entities under an open licence that allows for copying, development and further distribution of the software.

PAP and GovTech aim to curb the negative impact of spreading fake news though fact-based verification.

The #FakeHunter platform was launched on April 8 in response to the overflow of false information concerning the Covid-19 pandemic that posed a serious threat to the safety and health of society. The fake news ranged from offers of false treatments to denials of the virus's very existence.

The project's idea is to involve different social groups in a joint fight against the growing problem of fake news spreading on the internet.

Internet users are given the possibility to report a piece of news for verification and then receive a reliable answer, verified by opinion leaders and PAP experts. All verified reports are published in a special news service at fakehunter.pap.pl.

Volunteers constituted the backbone of the project group responsible for creating the system that consists of three elements: a plug-in for collecting submissions, a verification panel and the website with the results.

"The #FakeHunter project met with huge interest from internet users. Thanks to it, every day we receive submissions, or information about the coronavirus that raises doubts. All the elements of the project have been thoroughly tested and are working effectively, so the time has come for the tool to be also used by other entities that wish to get involved in fighting fake news. That's why we offer the software under an open licence," said PAP President Wojciech Surmacz.

"Allowing for the use, copying, development and further distribution of this tool is an expression of care for the health of society and safety in these difficult times," Surmacz added.

Seventy-five fake news items have been exposed from all submissions by internet users over the first month of #FakeHunter's operation.

"The spread of untrue information is a global phenomenon. There have been various initiatives around the world that integrate international innovative communities in the search for solutions against the scale of this phenomenon," said Justyna Orlowska, the PM's representative for GovTech.

The fact-checking software under an MIT open licence is available at https://github.com/govtech-polska

The #FakeHunter service is available at https://fakehunter.pap.pl/

The project's partners include Demagog, DO OK, Objectivity and Amazon Web Services.