LazyTruth debunks dubious email claims

2019-03-01 01:16:12

By Lisa Grossman EVERYONE has a gullible friend or a crazy uncle, who not only believes every urban myth but also insists on forwarding it to you. Now there’s a weapon to fight spam – an automatic fact-checker called LazyTruth built into your email. “We get a lot of crap in our inboxes,” says Matt Stempeck, one of the researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, who came up with the software and unveiled it at its spring conference last week. Wild rumours – such as the myth that Barack Obama is a Muslim – do the rounds for years, even though they have been repeatedly debunked. LazyTruth aims to combat this by delivering kernels of truth right to your inbox. When it recognises the unique phrases that turn up in viral emails it displays a rebuttal sourced from fact-checking websites such as and The tool’s creators plan to experiment with different configurations to find the most effective. For example,