Ontotext JSC, the leading semantic software provider, presented its semantic software at the conference, „Journalism 2.0: Myths and opportunities in the social media“. The event took place on Nov 11, at Sofia, and was organised by the Bulgarian Section of the Association of European Journalists (AEJ-Bulgaria).

Dr. Georgi Georgiev,  Head of Text Analytics Division at Ontotext and Dr. Laura Tolosh, discussed the work done on the Pheme Project, of which Ontotext is a consortium member. The project aims to develop ways to verify information disseminated through social media networks, as well as debunk false and abusive information that may be generated by inauthentic users.

The group discussion was designed to look at how news organisations can utilise social media as a component of their toolkit for gathering and reporting the news. The event brought together journalists, media experts, students and communication professionals. The conference topics included the penetration of social networks as a primary source of information for journalists, verifying of the Web content, ethical issues in social networks monitoring, the  possibility to change information flows, etc.

Dr. Georiev’s presentation focused on how the Pheme Project developed a methodology for identifying the veracity, or truthfulness, of internet memes. He demonstrated visitors how the decision complies with questions like: “What are the latest rumours?”, “What are the most popular rumours?”, “What rumours are true and which are false?”, “Which part of the country come at many rumours? “, etc.

Pheme project includes nine partners from England, Germany, Austria, Spain, Bulgaria, Switzerland and Kenya. In order to analyse the truthfulness of the information, the team uses innovative algorithms for machine learning. This is a way to find “Femes” – a term created by the team of Pheme, which adds value “true” or “false” to the term “meme” (ideas, rumours or other units of content on the Internet). The project coined the term “Pheme” to describe memes which are enhanced with truthfulness information. It is a reference also to Pheme – the Greek goddess of fame and rumours.

The three-year project is funded under the Seventh Framework Programme of the EU for research in the field of ICT, and targets to tackle dissemination of untrue information on the Internet.

Ontotext is part of Sirma Group Holding JSC, recently successfully completed its IPO campaign on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE).

More information about the Pfeme project – http://pheme.eu