User-oriented, secure, trustful & decentralised social media

 

Background

fake news, social media

Social media is increasingly a part of everyday life enabling citizens to communicate with each other and access the latest news updates. Many European citizens typically access non-European social media channels (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) to both access and share the daily news. However, users may not access this news from the original source of information resulting in questions about the credibility, quality, and trustworthiness of the information as it spreads through social media. This is even more challenging with the advent of misinformation, as exemplified by fake news, whereby inaccurate information is deliberately shared on social media.

 

Objectives

The primary objective of the EUNOMIA project is to assist users in determining the trustworthiness of social media information using an intermediary-free open-source approach. EUNOMIA empowers users to take ownership of the social media disinformation problem by providing a technical platform and software tools enabling users to vote on the trustworthiness of each social media post. The project will address the challenge of disinformation in social media from three different angles: by establishing the original source, identifying how information has changed in an information cascade, and helping the user evaluate the trustworthiness of the information.

 

Our role

Within EUNOMIA, Trilateral leads Work Package 2 on Human and Societal Factors. This involves conducting a privacy, social and ethical impact assessment (PIA+) of the EUNOMIA tools to ensure that the project takes a privacy and data protection-by-design approach. Additionally, TRI will conduct desk-based research, semi-structured interviews, and participant observation to identify user journeys and examine the social and political considerations in the verification of information on social media. Trilateral’s approach to participant observation will involve applying network analysis, natural language processing, and machine learning to gain insights from data extracted via social media APIs (e.g., Twitter, Mastodon) on the social (e.g., age, gender, nationality) and political factors.

Trilateral also leads tasks on user engagement ensuring that co-design principles are incorporated into the EUNOMIA pilots, and on the liaison with relevant stakeholders that will benefit from the EUNOMIA solution.

Trilateral will also contribute to tasks focusing on: identifying user needs and requirements; defining the scenarios and use cases to be covered by the EUNOMIA framework; planning, execution and evaluation of the pilots; and tasks related to dissemination, communication and the exploitation of results.

 

Outputs

The key outputs of the EUNOMIA project will include:

  • The EUNOMIA platform that will include multiple components providing a secure decentralized infrastructure, a peer to peer network, technical tools enabling information verification, and an app titled the EUNOMIA Digital Companion. The platform will be piloted and validated over two phases with different stakeholders including social journalists, traditional media journalists, and decentralized social media users
  • The Digital Companion will be available on all types of devices (e.g.., desktop, tablets, etc.) and will feature a responsive web-based and a personal (e.g., mobile, wearable smartwatch) app. Users of the application will be able to indicate whether they “trust” or “don’t trust” social media posts
  • An edited book on the social, ethical and behavioural considerations of EUNOMIA’s approach

 

Impact

EUNOMIA will:

  • Enhance current understandings of social media information verification, how trustworthiness is determined, and the wider social (age, gender, group dynamics, culture), political and behavioural factors that contribute to the sharing and verification of information on social media. The EUNOMIA approach will ensure visibility and trust in identifying the provenance of information and monitor its spread
  • Provide a solution enabling real-time evaluation of the trustworthiness of social media information by empowering users with tools to act in a human-as-a-trust-sensor capacity and take active ownership and responsibility of verifying the trustworthiness of social media information, while simultaneously safeguarding their privacy
  • Challenge the current accumulation of power in social media intermediaries by promoting alternative decentralised social media platforms which preserve anonymity and result in increased privacy for the user

 

For more information and updates visit the EUNOMIA project website and follow us on Twitter @projectEUNOMIA

 

Please contact our team for more information:

Su Anson, Senior Research Analyst at Trilateral Research

 


The EUNOMIA project – User-oriented, secure, trustful & decentralised social media – has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 825171.

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