Exploiting Context for Rumour Detection in Social Media

Arkaitz Zubiaga, Maria Liakata, Rob Procter

SocInfo. 2017.

Tools that are able to detect unverified information posted on social media during a news event can help to avoid the spread of rumours that turn out to be false. In this paper we compare a novel approach using Conditional Random Fields that learns from the sequential dynamics of social media posts with the current state-of-the-art rumour detection system, as well as other baselines. In contrast to existing work, our classifier does not need to observe tweets querying the stance of a post to deem it a rumour but, instead, exploits context learned during the event. Our classifier has improved precision and recall over the state-of-the-art classifier that relies on querying tweets, as well as outperforming our best baseline. Moreover, the results provide evidence for the generalisability of our classifier.

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