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Fake News Early Detection: A Theory-driven Model

by   Xinyi Zhou, et al.
Syracuse University

The explosive growth of fake news and its erosion of democracy, justice, and public trust has significantly increased the demand for accurate fake news detection. Recent advancements in this area have proposed novel techniques that aim to detect fake news by exploring how it propagates on social networks. However, to achieve fake news early detection, one is only provided with limited to no information on news propagation; hence, motivating the need to develop approaches that can detect fake news by focusing mainly on news content. In this paper, a theory-driven model is proposed for fake news detection. The method investigates news content at various levels: lexicon-level, syntax-level, semantic-level and discourse-level. We represent news at each level, relying on well-established theories in social and forensic psychology. Fake news detection is then conducted within a supervised machine learning framework. As an interdisciplinary research, our work explores potential fake news patterns, enhances the interpretability in fake news feature engineering, and studies the relationships among fake news, deception/disinformation, and clickbaits. Experiments conducted on two real-world datasets indicate that the proposed method can outperform the state-of-the-art and enable fake news early detection, even when there is limited content information.


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