Dublin City University's Institute for Future Media and Journalism (FuJo) is to lead a €2.4 million project to tackle the issue of "fake news".

The three-year European Union project, called PROVENANCE, will track and flag online disinformation, especially on social media.

It will focus on finding ways to enable people to distinguish between original information and manipulated information or "fake news", deliberately created and spread to influence public opinion or obscure the truth.

The project’s approach will involve a "verification layer" that will employ advanced digital technologies for multimedia analytics, including image forensics, to record any modifications to content and to identify similar pieces of content.

A 'Verification Indicator' will contextualise individual pieces of content with relevant information, including when the content was registered, by whom, and any subsequent transactions.

It said the project solutions will be of particular use for consumers of news and political information, but also for content creators who want to secure their content from manipulation or unauthorised use.

In 2014, the World Economic Forum identified the rapid spread of misinformation online as one of the top ten trends in modern societies, while recent European Commission research found that 80% of Europeans have come across information that they believe was false or misleading several times a month.

PROVENANCE will be led by Dr Jane Suiter, Associate Professor at FuJo, who said: "The speed and volume of disinformation on social media has the potential to undermine democracy, business, and social reputations."