The research effort is dubbed the Truthy project, a reference to comedian Stephen Colbert's coinage of the word "truthiness," or a belief held to be true regardless of facts or logic. The goal was to uncover organized propaganda or smear campaigns masquerading as a spontaneous outpouring of opinion on Twitter—a tactic known as fake grass roots, or "Astroturf."
The students will be asked to voluntarily submit a DNA sample. The cotton swabs will come with two bar code labels. One label will be put on the DNA sample and the other is kept for the students own records.
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