As mentioned, the project will build on existing innovation which has been reinforced in previous R&D action with very successful results and will create an innovation that will add significant value to existing services. Indeed, in the last 10 years, and especially in the context of the ICT4GROWTH action, PALO initially and QIX later developed a combined product which is now offered on the market with two different services / platforms, free for users in six countries, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey. , Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria (sites palo.gr, palo.com.cy, palo.com.tr, palo.rs, palo.ro, palo.bg) and subscriptions in Greece and Cyprus under the trade name PALOPro (SaaS ). Both the free and the subscription service focus on issues of collection and analysis of content from the Internet and Social Media, but also on issues of corporate reputation management (reputation management). In particular, the PALOPro subscription platform focuses on the collection and analysis of content from Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) and the Web (Websites, Blogs, Forums) and therefore collects and distributes reports / posts and their history from millions Social Media accounts and all news / informational websites for Greece and Cyprus. The proposed innovation, combined with the vast accumulation of experience in the analysis and extraction of knowledge from texts posted on social media will allow both palo sites and the PALOPro subscriber service to focus and try to identify focused strategies (para) information, the so-called astroturfing. The detection and analysis services, which will be developed as part of the project, will be offered as value-added services to PALO’s clientele, which includes public figures, organizations and bodies, companies and brands, interested in monitoring the internet and want to help in choosing a strategy for action against misinformation that often affects their public image. The two companies with their large commercial base and their previous cooperation are in a full position to take advantage of the results of the project.
The project belongs to the crown of the issues that concern, in our digital age, both the innovative research and data analysis companies, as well as the public and private sector, which seek advanced know-how / technology, to detect and deal with the phenomenon of misleading information strategies. The project partners will utilize the many years of accumulated knowledge and experience they have, as well as the specialized infrastructure and resources both for the development of the services and for their availability to an existing and new clientele. The attached forms describe the infrastructure of the partners, the possibility of cooperation between them, their experience as well as their possibilities to implement the proposed project and to take advantage of its results.
The areas of activity of Palo, as well as the interrelationships between them, are presented schematically in Figure 4. From the implementation of the project will emerge a series of applications, which combined or autonomous, will support the final services to customers. Schematically, the applications are shown in Figure 5.
Figure 4. Palo Saas Areas
Figure 5. Palo Saas Applications
Project contribution to the Economy at national, European and international level.
Based on the independent work “Final report of the High Level Expert Group on Fake News and Online Disinformation” published in March 2018 by the group of high level experts on false news and misinformation on the Internet – HLEG (High Level group of Experts ) – as well as the wider consultations held over the last six months, the European Commission defines as misinformation “proven false or misleading information generated, presented and disseminated for financial common interest”.
In addition, the European Commission Joint Research Center’s study “The digital transformation of news media and the rise of online disinformation” shows that two-thirds of online news consumers prefer to access them through algorithm-based platforms, such as search engines and news outlets, as well as through social media sites. It also reports that market power and revenue streams have shifted from news publishers to platform administrators who have data to match readers, articles, and ads.
Finally, in last year’s Eurobarometer survey (March 2018), 83% of respondents said that fake news posed a threat to democracy. They are particularly concerned about deliberate misinformation aimed at influencing elections and immigration policies. The survey also highlighted the importance of quality media: according to respondents, traditional media is the most reliable source of information (radio 70%, television 66%, press 63%). Online news sources and video sites are the least trusted source of information, with 26% and 27% trust rates, respectively.
So beyond the obvious dangers to democracy and security, misinformation strategies now manage to devalue online information services if they have a very low level of trust. But these services are a huge part of the economy with billions of euros in turnover worldwide and millions of jobs.
The proposed project will contribute to the extent appropriate to this global problem by adopting the policies and good practices proposed by the HLEG on Fake News and Online Disinformation working group to address the above issues by contributing to:
- Enhancing the transparency of online news
- Promoting digital communication literacy as a counterweight to misinformation
- Development of tools for empowering stakeholders and news producers and cultivating positive engagement with rapidly evolving technologies
- Protecting diversity and the stability of the European information ecosystem
- Promoting ongoing research to tackle misinformation and evaluate results.