Press release

eyeo Announces Investment in AI Start-up Factmata

Sponsored by Businesswire

Today, eyeo GmbH, the company behind Adblock Plus, announced an
investment and partnership with Factmata. As part of the investment,
Factmata will take over further development of eyeo’s Trusted News
browser extension. It will alert users to hate speech, racism, sexism,
bias, sensationalism, one-sidedness or deceptiveness in news articles,
using Factmata’s proprietary language-analysis algorithms. This
investment furthers Factmata’s commitment to a quality media ecosystem.

The Trusted News extension was first released in beta in late 2018. The
project was started by a small team of experts at eyeo who were driven
to find a solution to the growing problem of fake news and hate speech
online. When looking for a provider of filter data for such content,
they found the ideal partner in Factmata.

Trusted News uses a simple approach: leaning on website blacklists from
independent fact-checking organizations1 to generate its
“fake news” ratings. Content based on facts and backed by primary
sources is rated as trustworthy. If content contains politically-biased
views that are not backed by facts or contains heavy elements of humor
or exaggeration, it is rated as biased or satire. Misleading or false
headlines for the purpose of enticing readers to visit a website purely
for traffic or revenue are labeled as clickbait. Content that
deliberately delivers threats to your computer or personal safety is
marked as malicious.

“Just as eyeo and Adblock Plus are protecting users from harmful,
annoying ads, the partnership between Factmata and Trusted News gets us
one step closer to a safer, more transparent internet. Content that is
harmful gets flagged automatically, giving users more control over what
kind of content they trust and want to read,” said Till Faida, CEO &
Co-Founder, eyeo.

Factmata’s strategy with Trusted News is to involve a community in the
process of critically thinking about online content, as well as to
assist its users in the process of judging articles. To start with, this
might include an integration of Factmata’s API to detect if a page’s
content might be sexist, racist, threatening, or politically
propagandist. Users should be able to agree or disagree with judgements,
as well as add their own reasoned opinions to the system. Community
monitoring systems will be put in place to ensure no obvious gaming or
abuse of the system, as well as tracking what Factmata deems as the
“relevance” of the user in assessing the content.

Using Factmata’s unique “expert in the loop” approach to training
machine learning algorithms, Trusted News and Factmata will be in a
unique position to build a reliable, trust-able rating system for any
piece of online content using an advanced, scalable AI that becomes more
representative of what the crowd thinks over time.

“Our goal is to build a fair, explainable, open approach to rating
content online, and not judge something to be of low credibility just
because we don’t agree with the views of the website. We believe there
are reasonable bounded indicators of good quality, balanced, trustworthy
journalism. With enough time and training data, a well-built AI should
be able to automatically detect writing that strays from these bounds,
whilst leaving the final evaluation and critical opinion to the reader,”
says Co-Founder and CEO, Dhruv Ghulati.

Factmata, started in 2017 by researchers Dhruv Ghulati, Sebastian
Riedel, and Andreas Vlachos, was one of the first global companies to
tackle fake news online. Factmata raised funding2 from major
internet pioneers such as Mark Cuban, Craig Newmark, Sunil Paul and Biz
Stone. Since then, it has developed AI software which can accurately
score content for aspects like political bias, hate speech, racism,
sexism, toxicity, obscenity, threats, insults, and clickbait. Other
characteristics it has been developing in stealth include the detection
of deceptive language, sensationalism, one-sidedness, other forms of
identity hatred such as transphobia, bot-generated content, and
potentially false claims and rumours.

To get Trusted News, visit:
Platforms who want to moderate their content or protect their brands can

About Factmata

Factmata’s fair and transparent AI-based tools empower users to
critically evaluate content quality, and protect businesses from
associating with hateful, biased, or deceptive content online. It does
not replace people, but relies on the knowledge of experts and the
curated feedback of crowds to make it better. Find out more by visiting:

About eyeo

eyeo’s mission is to put users in control of a fair, profitable web.
eyeo is the developer of a suite of products that includes Flattr,
Adblock Browser and Adblock Plus, an open source project that aims to
rid the Internet of annoying and intrusive online advertising. Its free
web browser extensions (add-ons) put users in control by letting them
block or filter which ads they want to see. Adblock Plus is used by over
100 million people around the world. The free browser add-on is
available for Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Maxthon and
Opera for desktop users. eyeo also offers the free Adblock Browser app
for mobile users on iOS and Android. For more information, please visit

1 PolitiFact, Snopes, Wikipedia and Zimdars’ List