16th AIAI 2020, 5 -7 June 2020, Greece

Hong Kong Protests: Using Natural Language Processing for Fake News Detection on Twitter

Alexandros Zervopoulos, Aikaterini Georgia Alvanou, Konstantinos Bezas, Asterios Papamichail, Manolis Maragoudakis, Katia Lida Kermanidis


  The automation of fake news detection is the focus of a great deal of scientific research. With the rise of social media over the years, there has been a strong preference for users to be informed using their social media account, leading to a proliferation of fake news through them. This paper evaluates the veracity of politically-oriented news and in particular the tweets about the recent event of Hong Kong protests, with the aid of a dataset recently published by Twitter. From this dataset, Chinese tweets are translated into English, which are kept along with originally English tweets. By utilizing a language-independent filtering process, relevant tweets are identified. To complete the dataset, tweets originating from valid sources are used as the real portion, with journalists rather than news agencies being considered, which constitutes a novel aspect of the methodology. Well-known Machine Learning algorithms are used to classify tweets, which are represented by a feature value vector that is extracted, selected and preprocessed from the datasets and mainly revolves around language use, with word entropy being a novel feature. The results derived from these algorithms highlight morphological, lexical and vocabulary differences between tweets spreading fake and real news, which are for the most part in accordance with past related work.  

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