Paul Resnick receives Google award to develop rumor analysis app

Video detailing the RumorLens application and project

UMSI Professor of Information Paul Resnick has received a $60,000 award from Google, with an additional $20,000 of Google Cloud credits, to support the development of his RumorLens project, an interactive rumor analysis system with practical applications in computational journalism. The award is one of the Google Computational Journalism Research Awards announced today on Google's Research Blog.

RumorLens analyzes the spread of rumors on Twitter, allowing users to submit a tweet that characterizes a topic that interests them. The application will retrieve additional tweets related to the subject and prompt user feedback to classify results as propagating, debunking or unrelated to the original rumor. It will then use a text classifier to garner more widespread results. 

At the end of the process, RumorLens will present the user with a set of tweets that either support or discredit the rumor. The system will also provide accompanying data visualizations so that the user can see how many people were exposed to the original rumor, how many were exposed to the correction, and how many retweeted each. 

RumorLens will aid journalists and the general public in recognizing misleading information and exhibit the spread and reach of particular rumors and their accompanying corrections on Twitter. It will help users identify who had the most impact in spreading information about a particular rumor and measure the effectiveness of corrections in stopping the spread of the rumor.

The project is planning for a public deployment of the RumorLens system in the summer of 2014 in order to gain feedback from users. For more information about the application and project, please visit the RumorLens website at

Posted on Wednesday, February 19, 2014