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NewsMeasuring, personalisation & privacyData, AI & ML


October 01, 2019 - September 30, 2021

Depolarisation of the online news debate with a moderation dashboard.

Project Inquiries

Luk Overmeire


Mediahuis, Wieni, Textgain, Tree Company, imec IDLab, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) Mintlab,

The online news debate on social media has become more and more poralised. Because of the growth in offensive and resentful comments, and the challenge of managing them, different Flemish news websites have already closed off their comment section. 

The RHETORiC innovation project aims to offer a solution here by offering news editors and readers tools to help them detect and combat polarisation and contribute constructively to online debates.  

In total, there are 3 key innovation goals: 

  • Design interface elements that present cognitive biases and offer templates for constructive argumentation 

  • Enable effective semi-automatic comment moderation tools for both text and images 

  • Create participatory news formats that stimulate online audience conversation 

In the project, VRT NWS and Het Nieuwsblad will validate the end result: a moderation and discussion platform. 

RHETORiC is an imec.icon research project funded by imec and Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship.