Checkdesk Sources is a powerful open source toolkit for journalists and transparency advocates.
A growing form of Internet interference focuses on coopting the Internet’s open nature through sockpuppet or troll activity. Through their efforts they manipulate and disrupt public opinion for political reasons.
Checkdesk Sources allows users to track online social media sources and quickly assess whether a source (a Twitter account, a YouTube channel, a Facebook profile etc) is legitimate or a sockpuppet working to spread disinformation. Checkdesk will bring powerful source-level markup tools designed to counter the impact of propaganda and misinformation online. We will combine research, human-centered design methods, computational linguistics and open source development to bring this tool to journalists and transparency advocates working in repressive environments.
Building from the existing, broader support Checkdesk provides for verifying reports and links, Checkdesk Sources will be a flexible open-source toolkit for conducting source-level verification for eyewitness media. The product will allow professional and citizen journalists alike to annotate sources with confidence levels based on their online track records and articulate the steps they took to reach their conclusions. Importantly, we intend to leverage the power of the Checkdesk network, allowing users to quickly check whether the source of the material they’ve just retweeted has been flagged as a sockpuppet by someone else within the network.