Out of the hundreds of thousands of tweets being sent out at any one moment, it's safe to say at least a handful of them are hyperbole or outright lies. It's a truth about human nature: we don't always tell the truth.

A group of scientists in Europe made what they claim is a lie detector for tweets. Named Pheme, after the Greek god known for spreading rumors, the system divides lies into four groups: speculation, controversy, misinformation, and disinformation. Pheme will weigh the information and sources behind the tweet, and will give preference for established news outlets and experts. Then, the system will look at the user's background, to see if that Twitter account was created just to spread the rumors. Subsequently, the system will search for sources to backup the tweet's information and will watch how other conversations about the subject are evolving.

Pheme should be ready in about 18 months. "People do believe things they hear on the internet,” said Kalina Bontcheva, from University of Sheffield’s engineering department. “In critical situations, you can instead show reliable information or alert the authorities before things get out of hand.”

[via Telegraph]