Baidu Established Rumor-Refuting Platform

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Users are likely to see some information will be marked as “rumor” when searching in Baidu searching engine.

Today, Baidu officially launched its rumor-dispelling platform(百度辟谣平台) and hosted the launching ceremony with the national network police. 372 Net police law enforcement accounts from all over China will release information about the rumors on the platform and Baidu also hopes to use AI and big data processing technology to create the largest database of rumors and rumor refuting with the authority.

In user side, it is reflected in that when the information searched on the mobile Baidu is a rumor, users will see the “rumor” annotation and the refutation. As for users in different regions with different interest, Baidu information stream claims that they will receive refutation of different rumors.

According to Baidu’s search effectiveness and introduction given by content product architect, Zhang Tao, at the launch event, the core of the platform is information processing technology, rumor dispelling platform database and information distribution mechanism.

In terms of information processing, the platform applies natural language processing, big data and AI technology accumulated by Baidu SE and can find potential rumors on the Internet the first time.

The database is connected with national net police and other authorities and professional bodies as well as experts and scholars in various fields to help identify rumors and dispel rumors in targeted way. Finally, the platform pass on the information to users covered by Baidu through distribution mechanism.

Before the collaboration, the police had established a writing mechanism through social networks with government news departments and official accounts and columns. But the police’s cooperation with Baidu is, on a larger level, out of consideration of efficient rumor refutation.

Gao Dawei, the deputy chief of the fourth team of the Beijing Net Security General Team, talked about the difficulties in discovering and verifying rumors at the ceremony. That is to say, after releasing information refuting rumors, these rumors have been widely spread. In the process of dispelling rumors, the verification on rumors has time cost for the work.

The most important thing is that the groups receive rumor and information refuting rumors are different. “To fight against rumors, we need to use big data and AI to dispel rumors accurately,” Gao said.

According to Baidu, Baidu rumor refuting platform has connected with and covered more than 10 production lines including Baidu SE, mobile Baidu information stream, Baijiahao, Baidu news, Baidu Tieba and Baidu Zhidao. In the future, the platform will expand to more Baidu products.

Zhang Tao introduced that construction of Baidu rumors platform started from H1 2017 and is currently in the first phase of the “platform construction”. It has introduced 678 authorities and aims to release over 100 pieces of information refuting rumors. In next step, the platform will focus on data sharing, introduce 2,000 anti-rumor agencies and experts, and extend the number of verified rumors to one million. The ultimate goal of the platform is to build China’s largest rumor and rumor-dispelling database and to share data and technical capabilities the whole society through an open interface.

In addition, when asked about how to ensure that content in platform is trustworthy and not disturbed by the commercial content, Zhang Tao told Sina Technology that the platform introduced national authoritative organizations and some popular science media as priority so as to ensure the reliability of the content. He said Baidu’s anti-rumor platform is a public welfare program instead of a commercial one.

But when Sina Technology asked assuming merchants fabricated rumors to promote the products or services and purchased the relevant search keywords, whether rumor-dispelling platform would conflict with Baidu’s advertising system, Baidu responded the platform was still in the construction and had not yet connected with Phoenix Nest System(凤巢系统), Baidu’s advertising sales platform.

According to Baidu insider, Phoenix Nest System has raised the standards for the advertisers’ qualifications. In the same way, the text recognition and semantic analysis technology similar to the anti-rumor platform have also been used to establish the recognition model of advertising content auditing so as to ensure legal compliance.

This has improved Baidu’s promotion to a certain extent, but the insider said there were still cases where advertisers had good qualifications but their content violated regulations.

“Just like when public security system handles ID card, it only records personal information but has no way to predict whether the person will commit a crime in the future or not. In this case, what the phoenix nest system can do is to respond quickly after receiving the report,” the insider told Sina Technology.


This article originally appeared in Sina technology and was translated by Pandaily.

Click here to read the original Chinese article.

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