LinkedIn may be on a mission to clean its professional network of fibs and incorrect facts, at least according to a new patent application the company filed Tuesday.
The filing is for a fact-checking system that would catch inaccuracies that users type in as well as give them the correct information. In one simple example, the company listed the possibility of a user who enters Texas as the largest state only to be told that it’s actually Alaska.
The 82-page document, filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, covers a wide variety of situations, types of information, and ways in which the system could automatically fact-check information. But three main uses are obvious.
LinkedIn is increasingly a destination for news articles, blog posts, and user-generated content that the company would be well-served to clean of mistakes and purposely false information. The company recently announced Elevate, a new app that suggests articles and content for users to share on LinkedIn and other social networks.
Although the application made no explicit mention of it, LinkedIn could also apply the fact-checker to its users’ professional profiles. LinkedIn has long been known as the “online resume” and oftentimes, professionals use their profiles in the network as a way to promote their accomplishments.
Those resumes can also be filled with deceit and mistakes, and so far, LinkedIn users have been on the honor system. Although it would be difficult or impossible for it to verify some claims, others could easily be compared against publicly available information online or in private databases that LinkedIn could buy or license.
And lastly, it could also be helpful to LinkedIn’s latest acquisition: online learning company Lynda. Students could conceivably get automated feedback on interactive homework and quizzes.