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Doctoral Research Fellowship in Russian language and linguistics U of Oslo

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    Mary Arnstein

    Job description 

    A Doctoral Research Fellowship (SKO 1017) in Russian language and linguistics is available at the Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages, University of Oslo. The position is associated with the Researcher Project grant 302573 ”Fakespeak – the language of fake news. Fake news detection based on linguistic cues”,, funded by the Research Council of Norway and led by Project Manager Silje Susanne Alvestad, researcher in Slavic languages and linguistics at the University of Oslo.

    Fake news, defined as news items that are meant to be deceptive and which the author knows to be false, is not a new phenomenon. However, the rapid development of social media now allows news from sources of varying reputation to be spread unfiltered at lightning speed and to be read by millions of people in a very short period of time. Western liberal democracies are vulnerable, and fake news and other types of disinformation may seriously harm them.

    The main objectives of the Fakespeak project, which consists of a core team of linguists and computer scientists, arei) to identify the language and style of fake news in English, Norwegian and Russian, and ii) to improve existing fake news detection systems by automating the defining linguistic features of fake news. Industrial collaboration partners of this project are, Norway’s first and, so far, only fact-checking service; the NRK, Norway’s largest media organization and broadcaster of news from all over the world; and the NTB, the Norwegian News Agency. The goal of the project is to help them and other stakeholders as well as the general public to detect potentially harmful fake news items more efficiently and accurately and in a more timely manner than what is currently possible.

    The successful candidate to be hired at the Department will contribute to the project achieving objective i). S/he will harvest datasets mainly in Russian from the Internet, and analyse them statistically and visualize the results applying corpus linguistics methods.

    Priority will be given to proposals that fill a gap in the project in terms of topic and/or fake news genre.  The doctoral fellow will be part of a larger multi-disciplinary research network involving linguistics, computer science, and media science.

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