Bytes: What’s new in tech
Facebook flags fake news
That fake news article your old school friend posted on Facebook isn’t going anywhere, said Peter Kafka in Recode.net, “but now it’s going to get a warning label.” The social media giant has started tagging certain stories with a “Disputed” stamp as part of its fight against misinformation on the site. If a flagged article shows up in your newsfeed, it will be accompanied by links to posts on fact-checking sites Politifact and Snopes “explaining why it’s not true.” But it takes time for a story to receive a Disputed mark. Facebook users first have to report the piece as bogus, or the site’s algorithms have to spot something suspicious. The story is then vetted by media organizations that have volunteered to do free factchecking— all meaning it can take several days before even a patently false story gets tagged.
Tinder for the rich and beautiful
There’s a secret version of Tinder “for the most attractive, eligible 1 percent,” said Jordan Crook in TechCrunch.com. Tinder Select, an invite-only version of the dating app, has been available for about six months. “It’s unclear exactly how Tinder decides who gets invited and who doesn’t, but the common thread among those on the Select app is that they’re generally attractive and relatively high-profile.” Its members include supermodels, CEOs, and other elite types. Users who are invited to Tinder Select can “nominate” others for consideration, but those who are nominated can’t nominate anyone else, keeping the app’s exclusivity intact. Tinder has yet to confirm the existence of Tinder Select.
A ‘robot lawyer’ for refugees
A chatbot built to fight parking tickets is now helping refugees submit asylum applications, said Elena Cresci in The Guardian (U.K.). The creator of DoNotPay, which guides users through the appeals process for parking fines, has trained the “robot lawyer” to do the same for immigration paperwork in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. The free chatbot, which works on Facebook Messenger, asks users a series of simple questions to determine which forms they need and whether they’re eligible for asylum protection under international law. The chatbot then asks more questions, using the answers to auto-fill the application. DoNotPay’s creator, Stanford University student Joshua Browder, said he chose Facebook Messenger for its broad reach. “It works with almost every device,” he said, “making it accessible to over a billion people.” ■