Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences


UCL startup develops technology to make social networks safer

A UCL business is using the latest machine learning techniques to help tackle disinformation on social media.


22 June 2021

The UCL startup Astrocreen, founded by Ali Tehrani (Economics and Geography 2015), is helping  businesses and the government detect and mitigate the effects of disinformation online. 

Astroscreen was highlighted in a 2020 report by the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport as an example of a British company tackling false, misleading or harmful online information. 

Ali commented: “It’s fantastic to be mentioned as one of the companies helping the UK be a world leader in online safety innovation. 
“Social networks are designed to maximise engagement and these same features can lead to online mobs, harassment and disinformation. At Astroscreen, we want to make social networks a safer place and we’re starting with disinformation detection.” 
During the coronavirus pandemic, Astroscreen found that most of the misinformation linking 5G telecommunications networks to COVID-19 was spread by real people, including celebrities and influencers. 
Astroscreen has benefitted from extracurricular entrepreneurship programmes and support at UCL Innovation & Enterprise. They’ve received business advice, mentoring and free office space at BaseKX, UCL’s entrepreneurship hub in King’s Cross. 

The business also received support from The UCL Technology Fund, managed by AlbionVC, in collaboration with UCL Business, part of UCL Innovation & Enterprise. 

Astroscreen’s founder Ali Tehrani is one of 11 UCL students and alumni to have been named in Forbes’ ‘Top 30 Under 30’ list of leading entrepreneurs and creatives in Europe.

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