Army researchers will have a solution for fake news right after the next US election

Parachuting in a bit late.
Parachuting in a bit late.
Image: AP Photo/Mark Tenally
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As media’s highest-T fake news broadcaster (paywall) says: “There’s a war for your mind.” Now the US Army wants to fight it.

The Army announced on Wednesday (Nov. 29) that a team of its researchers would work alongside scientists from Ukraine and Bulgaria to “understand and ultimately combat disinformation attacks in cyberspace.” The work is theoretical, and will span three years, meaning it will likely end after the US presidential election in 2020.

The team will work to develop theories for software that would grant nations “situational awareness,” by monitoring the internet and giving timely notifications that misinformation has been perpetrated. While the international researchers won’t work in the same physical lab, the Army writes in its press release that the team will work in a “virtual, distributed networked laboratory,” presumably meaning they will use email.

As the Army researches the topic, it’s becoming clear to the rest of the world (which simply refers to “cyberspace” as Facebook) that the technology companies who created the platforms over which misinformation is routinely shared probably shoulder the responsibility of mitigating the practice. With any luck, the Army project will catch up sooner than the projected timeline.