Graph Neural Networks with Continual Learning for Fake News Detection from Social Media

by   Yi Han, et al.

Although significant effort has been applied to fact-checking, the prevalence of fake news over social media, which has profound impact on justice, public trust and our society as a whole, remains a serious problem. In this work, we focus on propagation-based fake news detection, as recent studies have demonstrated that fake news and real news spread differently online. Specifically, considering the capability of graph neural networks (GNNs) in dealing with non-Euclidean data, we use GNNs to differentiate between the propagation patterns of fake and real news on social media. In particular, we concentrate on two questions: (1) Without relying on any text information, e.g., tweet content, replies and user descriptions, how accurately can GNNs identify fake news? Machine learning models are known to be vulnerable to adversarial attacks, and avoiding the dependence on text-based features can make the model less susceptible to the manipulation of advanced fake news fabricators. (2) How to deal with new, unseen data? In other words, how does a GNN trained on a given dataset perform on a new and potentially vastly different dataset? If it achieves unsatisfactory performance, how do we solve the problem without re-training the model on the entire data from scratch, which would become prohibitively expensive in practice as the data volumes grow? We study the above questions on two datasets with thousands of labelled news, and our results show that: (1) GNNs can indeed achieve comparable or superior performance without any text information to state-of-the-art methods. (2) GNNs trained on a given dataset may perform poorly on new, unseen data, and direct incremental training cannot solve the problem. In order to solve the problem, we propose a method that achieves balanced performance on both existing and new datasets, by using techniques from continual learning to train GNNs incrementally.


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