The federal government is spending close to $1 million of your money on an online tracking program that will search for so-called “hate speech” or “misinformation” on Twitter.

Fox News digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt was on “The Kelly File” to discuss the “Truthy” database, which will monitor suspicious Internet memes as well as false or misleading ideas online.

The National Science Foundation is financing its creation, and researchers at Indiana University will maintain the database.


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“The project stands to benefit both the research community and the public significantly,” the grant states. “Our data will be made available via [application programming interfaces] APIs and include information on meme propagation networks, statistical data, and relevant user and content features.”

“The open-source platform we develop will be made publicly available and will be extensible to ever more research areas as a greater preponderance of human activities are replicated online,” it continues. “Additionally, we will create a web service open to the public for monitoring trends, bursts, and suspicious memes.”

“This service could mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate,” the grant said.

“Truthy,” which gets its name from Stephen Colbert, will catalog how information is spread on Twitter, including political campaigns.

“While the vast majority of memes arise in a perfectly organic manner, driven by the complex mechanisms of life on the Web, some are engineered by the shady machinery of high-profile congressional campaigns,” according to the website.

“Truthy” claims to be non-partisan. However, the project’s lead investigator Filippo Menczer proclaims his support for numerous progressive advocacy groups, including President Barack Obama’s Organizing for Action, Moveon.org, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Amnesty International, and True Majority.


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