Four students of the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar won BBC hackathon on Fighting Fake News in two out of three categories. The hackathon was conducted in Google campus, Gurgaon on November 14 and 15, 2018. Skilled media professionals, fact-checkers, and IIT students from across the country spent two days prototyping solutions to an element of the fake news ecosystem.

The team consisting Pranjali Jain and Sharad Joshi developed a prototype to automatically process and analyze twitter posts for pre-defined keywords, their grammar score, and some other text features. Their solution also suggested extracting text embedded in images, tracking certain posts based on retweets, and applying tampering detection on images which do not contain any text. Sharing her experience, Pranjali said, “It was a good opportunity to find out more practical issues with the problems and see how we can develop solutions which are closer to reality in the future.”

The team of Vraj Patel and Rushil Shah created an Application Program Interface (API) in which there is a database of fake news that is viral. This database would be updated by fact- checkers and they came up with a solution in which an image uploaded by the user is checked for already being viral using some efficient checking mechanism. Rushil shared his experience of working at the hackathon and told, “The experience was superb. Working with such less time (around 10 hrs) made us make the best use of our time.”