The Internet began as an academic venture, intended to foster greater exchanges between members of different research communities. Since its inception, many of its major advancements have come from the academic world.
Today as the Internet and the web play an increasingly important role in our everyday lives, we all benefit from that work. This growth has not been unchallenged, and the Internet has faced threats including DNS spoofing, browser malware, and spam. In every one of these cases, academia and industry have joined forces to address these attacks.
Today, the attack is in the form of misinformation. The Internet has empowered individuals to communicate and publish like never before. Malicious actors seek to exploit this and undermine the systems we have built.
We wish to attract the energies of academics to fight this new threat. Achieving this first requires a better understanding of the phenomenon. This of course, is best facilitated through the sharing of data. Today we launch datacommons.org, a schema.org-like initiative for the open sharing of data. We start with a dataset aimed at helping us understand the characteristics of misinformation.
Fact checks offer a significant lens into the world of misinformation. In this release we are providing the metadata associated with a sample of fact checks from a number of different sources. The meta-data follows the open schema.org standard (ClaimReview) that has already been adopted by most fact checking organizations and is currently being used by Google News, Google Search, Bing News, Bing Search, and others.
This release is a small step towards making it easier for researchers around the world to study misinformation and publish findings on a publicly available data set. In the future, we are committed to continued sharing of data related to the study of misinformation through datacommons.org and within the bounds of privacy constraints. This effort is a partnership between the fact checking community (International Fact-Checking Network), academic institutions (Carnegie Mellon University, Duke University), and industry (Bing, Google). Interested researchers can head directly to the Download Page