New research project to combat fake news and disinformation

Publication date 11.11.2022 10.18
News item

Police University College participates in the international Fake nEws Risk MItigator (FERMI) project that will develop an AI-based solution to detect disinformation and fake news, including in social media.

The technical tool to be developed will be able to identify, for example, the topic and probable origin of fake news, and provide an assessment of the truthfulness of the news. It will detect both fake accounts that disseminate disinformation and falsified content, and the origin of networks that spread fake news and disinformation.

In addition, the FERMI project will anticipate the impacts that disinformation and fake news have on other crimes, both online and in the real world, and propose countermeasures. 

“The FERMI project will continue the themes of previous projects focusing on hate crime, implemented by the Police University College. At the same time, the project will introduce a new approach because it will help identify and prevent both extreme right-wing and extreme left-wing disinformation and fake news with the potential to intensify and evolve into hate crimes and, in the worst-case scenario, violent extremism,” says Researcher Jenita Rauta of the Police University College. 

The aim of the project is to facilitate EU Police Authorities to detect and monitor the spreading of disinformation and fake news. The Police University College’s task in the project is to produce educational material for the police authorities in Europe, other professionals and stakeholders, and EU citizens. 

“The purpose of the training material is to help prevent the dissemination of disinformation and fake news and enhance digital trust. The material will become available for use by the Finnish police as well,” Rauta says. 

A total of 17 organizations across Europe are involved in the FERMI project, including Finland’s Ministry of the Interior. The project is funded by the EU Horizon 2021 initiative. 

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