In the context of fake news, bias, and propaganda, we study two important but relatively under-explored problems:(i) trustworthiness estimation (on a 3-point scale) and (ii) political ideology detection (left/right bias on a 7-point scale) of entire news outlets, as opposed to evaluating individual articles. In particular, we propose a multi-task ordinal regression framework that models the two problems jointly. This is motivated by the observation that hyper-partisanship is often linked to low trustworthiness, eg, appealing to emotions rather than sticking to the facts, while center media tend to be generally more impartial and trustworthy. We further use several auxiliary tasks, modelling centrality, hyperpartisanship, as well as left-vs.-right bias on a coarse-grained scale. The evaluation results show sizable performance gains by the joint models over models that target the problems in isolation.
We present a study on predicting the factuality of reporting and bias of news media. While previous work has focused on studying the veracity of claims or documents, here we are interested in characterizing entire news media. These are under-studied but arguably important research problems, both in their own right and as a prior for fact-checking systems. We experiment with a large list of news websites and with a rich set of features derived from (i) a sample of articles from the target news medium,(ii) its Wikipedia page,(iii) its Twitter account,(iv) the structure of its URL, and (v) information about the Web traffic it attracts. The experimental results show sizable performance gains over the baselines, and confirm the importance of each feature type.
Community Question Answering (cQA) forums are very popular nowadays, as they represent effective means for communities around particular topics to share information. Unfortunately, this information is not always factual. Thus, here we explore a new dimension in the context of cQA, which has been ignored so far: checking the veracity of answers to particular questions in cQA forums. As this is a new problem, we create a specialized dataset for it. We further propose a novel multi-faceted model, which captures information from the answer content (what is said and how), from the author profile (who says it), from the rest of the community forum (where it is said), and from external authoritative sources of information (external support). Evaluation results show a MAP value of 86.54, which is 21 points absolute above the baseline.
It is completely amazing! Fake news and click-baits have totally invaded the cyberspace. Let us face it: everybody hates them for three simple reasons. Reason #2 will absolutely amaze you. What these can achieve at the time of election will completely blow your mind! Now, we all agree, this cannot go on, you know, somebody has to stop it. So, we did this research on fake news/click-bait detection and trust us, it is totally great research, it really is! Make no mistake. This is the best research ever! Seriously, come have a look, we have it all: neural networks, attention mechanism, sentiment lexicons, author profiling, you name it. Lexical features, semantic features, we absolutely have it all. And we have totally tested it, trust us! We have results, and numbers, really big numbers. The best numbers ever! Oh, and analysis, absolutely top-notch analysis. Interested? Come read the shocking truth about fake news and click-bait in the Bulgarian cyberspace. You won’t believe what we have found!
Given the constantly growing proliferation of false claims online in recent years, there has been also a growing research interest in automatically distinguishing false rumours from factually true claims. Here, we propose a general-purpose framework for fully-automatic fact checking using external sources, tapping the potential of the entire Web as a knowledge source to confirm or reject a claim. Our framework uses a deep neural network with LSTM text encoding to combine semantic kernels with task-specific embeddings that encode a claim together with pieces of potentially relevant text fragments from the Web, taking the source reliability into account. The evaluation results show good performance on two different tasks and datasets: (i) rumour detection and (ii) fact-checking of the answers to a question in community question answering forums.