December 11, 2017, by The Ingenuity Lab
Ingenuity18: Taking the Next Step
Dr Mattia Fosci joined as a member of the Ingenuity Lab in 2014 and has been working to establish his business and develop his app, Yoop, with the help of the Lab.
Fake News debate launches content app Yoop at University of Nottingham
Thursday, 30th November saw the launch of Yoop, the first app to rate, share and discover content, at a special event on fake news and the media at the University of Nottingham.
‘The Age of Fake: Can Millennials Trust the Media?’ kicked off with a presentation from Liz Cass, the university’s head of news, and Dr Mattia Fosci, who presented Yoop.
Through Yoop, users can expose fake news, rate the content they see in other apps, and discover how other people rated those stories. The more users rate, the more the app learns their personal interest and suggests best-rated stories on their favourite topics. Yoop is not just a simple way to filter out irrelevant content, but also a tool and to put the public in control of the media. Given that only 12% of young people trust the press, the idea proved especially popular with students.
The presentations were followed by a panel discussion that explored the relation between young people, technology and information. Cass and Fosci were joined by Connor Higgs, editor-in-chief of Impact Magazine; Samira Aoumeur of the Nottingham Debating Union; and Luke Whelan from Advocate, the university’s law and politics magazine.
The audience took their opportunity to have their say, posing questions about the dominance of left-wing views amongst university academics, press regulation, the perspectives of different cultures and many more.
Higgs was impressed by both the app and the debate:
“The event was a really effective way of introducing Yoop to an audience, and highlighted the issues surrounding fake news which have in part led to its inception. It seemed the debate could’ve gone on even longer, which is always a good sign! The audience looked interested in seeing how Yoop developed, as am I.”
Dr Fosci, who had been interviewed by BBC Radio Nottingham shortly before the event, was pleased with how the evening panned out:
“It was really exciting to see over 100 students turning up on the day despite the freezing cold and the snow outside. That shows that many young people are frustrated with the media landscape and actively looking for a way to find more trustworthy, high-quality information.”
“I think the panel discussion was really good, but the most refreshing thing for me was audience participation. Every time Frances (i.e. the moderator) asked the audience to intervene I could see 10-15 hands raised. All questions were really difficult, but they showed that the idea of YOOP really stroke a chord with them. I was not expecting so much enthusiasm.”
The audience were given the opportunity to download the app before the official release, and Dr Fosci hopes they will be the first of many, as he and his team prepare to raise awareness about Yoop within the student community.
“I am really excited to see what happens next. We will engage with students in Nottingham over the coming months before launching the app in public. Breaking through in this ultra-competitive market is going to be challenging, but if we can harness the sort of energy that was in the room last night than anything is possible. Watch this space!”
If you would like to find out more about Ingenuity18, please visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/go/ingenuity18