The online crowds weren’t always wise following the Boston Marathon bombings. For example, the online community Reddit and some Twitter users were criticized for pillorying an innocent student as a possible terrorist suspect. But some emerging technologies might be able to help knock down false reports and wring the truth from the fog of social media during crises.
Researchers from the Masdar Institute of Technology and the Qatar Computer Research Institute plan to launch Verily, a platform that aims to verify social media information, in a beta version this summer. Verily aims to enlist people in collecting and analyzing evidence to confirm or debunk reports. As an incentive, it will award reputation points—or dings—to its contributors.