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LinkedIn liars could be rumbled by new system

LinkedIn Logo 2013.svg

LinkedIn liars could be rumbled by new system

Truth-embellishing LinkedIn users may be outed by a new tool designed to check facts and accuracy.

Users of the networking site who pepper their profile with fabrications should be wary that it has acquired a program that seeks to check accuracy and identify possible tall tales.

The tool, patented by an inventor outside of the company, may be able to flag up dubious claims by a user and limit distorted truths on LinkedIn profiles. For example, if a member claims to hold a degree from a certain university, it may be able to perform a check on whether the course has ever been offered by the institution in question. It may also be able to detect such unlikely claims as that of holding a permanent job and completing a full-time degree simultaneously.

The idea builds upon software recently trailed by Facebook, which has sought to determine the authenticity of news and distinguish it from fabrications and satire.

An example could be an automatic detection of a claim that China is the biggest country in the world. The tool may be able to highlight this claim as inaccurate and point out that Russia is actually the world’s largest country.

However, tech website Gizmodo.co.uk notes that the system may struggle with context and suggest ‘corrections’ wrongly. In the above question, the ambiguity of the word ‘biggest’ could lead to it confusing such factors as size, population and economic power.

With search engines and social media sites seemingly aiming to value facts as highly as spelling and grammar, there is every reason for forward-thinking companies to develop journalistic and SEO-focused content.

John Murray

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