Telling a Lie: Analyzing the Language of Information and Misinformation during Global Health Events

Ankit Aich, Natalie Parde


Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic and other global health events are unfortunately excellent environments for the creation and spread of misinformation, and the language associated with health misinformation may be typified by unique patterns and linguistic markers. Allowing health misinformation to spread unchecked can have devastating ripple effects; however, detecting and stopping its spread requires careful analysis of these linguistic characteristics at scale. We analyze prior investigations focusing on health misinformation, associated datasets, and detection of misinformation during health crises. We also introduce a novel dataset designed for analyzing such phenomena, comprised of 2.8 million news articles and social media posts spanning the early 1900s to the present. Our annotation guidelines result in strong agreement between independent annotators. We describe our methods for collecting this data and follow this with a thorough analysis of the themes and linguistic features that appear in information versus misinformation. Finally, we demonstrate a proof-of-concept misinformation detection task to establish dataset validity, achieving a strong performance benchmark (accuracy = 75%; F1 = 0.7).
Anthology ID:
2022.lrec-1.439
Volume:
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference
Month:
June
Year:
2022
Address:
Marseille, France
Venue:
LREC
SIG:
Publisher:
European Language Resources Association
Note:
Pages:
4135–4141
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2022.lrec-1.439
DOI:
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Ankit Aich and Natalie Parde. 2022. Telling a Lie: Analyzing the Language of Information and Misinformation during Global Health Events. In Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference, pages 4135–4141, Marseille, France. European Language Resources Association.
Cite (Informal):
Telling a Lie: Analyzing the Language of Information and Misinformation during Global Health Events (Aich & Parde, LREC 2022)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2022.lrec-1.439.pdf
Code
 ankitaich09/misinformation