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Elections without fake: technological approaches for mitigating disinformation in social media

Abstract

The 2016 American elections raise doubt on the belief that online social networks came to bring the libertarian ideal and democratization. In recent years, digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp have become the stage for a real information war during election periods. As social networks are environments in which people influence and are influenced, there is a lot of space on these platforms for political marketing to act in an abusive way. In particular, in the US, political marketing strategies abused Facebook-driven advertisements and turned the debate over the American elections into chaos. In the 2018 elections in Brazil, disinformation campaigns found new ways to act, abusing applications for exchanging messages such as WhatsApp. The rapid dissemination and wide spread of information are properties of social media that can be abused for the purposes of unsolicited advertising, interruption of legitimate communication or even carrying out opinion manipulation campaigns through these platforms. These environments have been a favorable environment for the spreading of rumors or slander, and very little is known about the credibility of the information that spreads in these systems. In this context, this project presents a proposal to mitigate this serious problem, seeking to bring transparency to political campaigns carried out on online social networks. The idea is to explore technological solutions capable of exposing data from disinformation campaigns within social networks, in order to allow the work of journalists, fact-checkers, legislators and legal advisors, or even allowing government actions, if irregularities are found in our approaches, from the transparency. The project aims to continue an initiative that operated in the 2018 elections, the Elections without fake project (\url{http://www.eleicoes-sem-fake.dcc.ufmg.br/}). (AU)

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