Automatic Fake News Detection: Are Models Learning to Reason?

Casper Hansen, Christian Hansen, Lucas Chaves Lima


Abstract
Most fact checking models for automatic fake news detection are based on reasoning: given a claim with associated evidence, the models aim to estimate the claim veracity based on the supporting or refuting content within the evidence. When these models perform well, it is generally assumed to be due to the models having learned to reason over the evidence with regards to the claim. In this paper, we investigate this assumption of reasoning, by exploring the relationship and importance of both claim and evidence. Surprisingly, we find on political fact checking datasets that most often the highest effectiveness is obtained by utilizing only the evidence, as the impact of including the claim is either negligible or harmful to the effectiveness. This highlights an important problem in what constitutes evidence in existing approaches for automatic fake news detection.
Anthology ID:
2021.acl-short.12
Volume:
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)
Month:
August
Year:
2021
Address:
Online
Venues:
ACL | IJCNLP
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
80–86
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.acl-short.12
DOI:
10.18653/v1/2021.acl-short.12
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Casper Hansen, Christian Hansen, and Lucas Chaves Lima. 2021. Automatic Fake News Detection: Are Models Learning to Reason?. In Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers), pages 80–86, Online. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Automatic Fake News Detection: Are Models Learning to Reason? (Hansen et al., ACL 2021)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.acl-short.12.pdf
Video:
 https://aclanthology.org/2021.acl-short.12.mp4
Code
 casperhansen/fake-news-reasoning