Registration to the event is now open! Each EUR 10 donation will give you one ticket to participate at a local host and a unique code to register (it will be e-mailed to you within a day). Please make sure you leave your e-mail in the comments section. If you wish to purchase multiple tickets, just list the e-mails of your teammates as well. The online tickets for the Datathon will be free of charge.
Data Science Society, a global community based in Sofia, Bulgaria, has a 4-year track of putting data science into good use. We organize datathons, meetups, monthly challenges, and many more initiatives that bring local and world-known experts to share and use their expertise in order to tackle social problems. So far we have organized over 60 meetups, 5 datathons, 4 workshops, a Data Science Masterclass, a Summer School and numerous coding and knowledge-sharing sessions.
Our community of more than 1800 international data experts and enthusiasts produced more than 100 solutions on pre-defined business cases. Some of the most interesting challenges they have worked on were developing tools to predict air pollution in urban areas and applying machine learning to identify fake news.
This time we want to get even more serious and find a solution to detect news articles that distort information or demonstrate opinions in order to change the understanding the society has on the matter. This is often referred to as news manipulation or propaganda and it even has a definition by the Institute for Propaganda Analysis given in 1938 -
“the expression of an opinion or an action by individuals or groups deliberately designed to influence the opinions or the actions of other individuals or groups with reference to predetermined ends”.
Purpose of the event:
“Hack the News Datathon”, an international data science Hackathon, open to the global community, will gather data enthusiasts and experts in text mining and NLP to develop an intelligent system for identifying news manipulation. At the end of the Datathon we will have different solutions by our global teams. These algorithms will set the basis for developing wide-spread tools to help people determine whether their everyday sources of information are biased or not and will contribute to a better informed society in the long-run.
The “Hack the News Datathon” will be held from 21st till 27th of January 2019 and will feature cases with 3 levels of difficulty.
With the rapidly growing role of social and mass media as a main source of information, the problem with propaganda is evolving into a worldwide plague of disinformation. While in the past only the government had the reach to control media such as radio, television and newspapers, with the ever-growing use of internet as a mass media, propaganda is now used by businesses, common people, political parties and organizations of all sizes as well. And there is no reliable way to determine it … yet.
We have all fallen victims to propaganda, once or numerous times, with or without knowing it. From biased coverage on global topics such as ongoing wars, the refugee crisis and Brexit to local propaganda in political doctrines and personal stories that ended up being far from accurate - one can no longer be sure of the sources of information they confide in.
Who’s with us?
We are not alone in our fight against propaganda. The initiative is backed by Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) and A Data Pro- leading researchers in the field who have produced the methodology for identifying propaganda. Advisors from Max-Planck Institute for informatics, University of Michigan, University of Sheffield, University of California, Santa Barbara, University of British Columbia, University of Texas Arlington, as well as representatives from Massachusetts Institute of Technology will provide support to the competing teams.
What we need donations for?
Joining us in the fight against propaganda, you will contribute to a good cause. The donated funds will be used for awarding the best solutions of the Datathon and meeting organizational costs.
If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to send us an e-mail!