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Cybersecurity

U.S. Unleashes Military to Fight Fake News, Disinformation

  • Pentagon research to sift 250,000 news items in initial phase
  • Fears grow about viral political memes polarizing society
Fake news on internet in modern digital age, conceptual illustration with text overlaying hexadecimal encrypted computer code
Photographer: stevanovicigor/iStockphoto

Fake news and social media posts are such a threat to U.S. security that the Defense Department is launching a project to repel “large-scale, automated disinformation attacks,” as the top Republican in Congress blocks efforts to protect the integrity of elections.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants custom software that can unearth fakes hidden among more than 500,000 stories, photos, video and audio clips. If successful, the system after four years of trials may expand to detect malicious intent and prevent viral fake news from polarizing society.