Achyutarama Ganti


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Narrative Style and the Spread of Health Misinformation on Twitter
Achyutarama Ganti | Eslam Ali Hassan Hussein | Steven Wilson | Zexin Ma | Xinyan Zhao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Using a narrative style is an effective way to communicate health information both on and off social media. Given the amount of misinformation being spread online and its potential negative effects, it is crucial to investigate the interplay between narrative communication style and misinformative health content on user engagement on social media platforms. To explore this in the context of Twitter, we start with previously annotated health misinformation tweets (n 15,000) and annotate a subset of the data (n=3,000) for the presence of narrative style. We then use these manually assigned labels to train text classifiers, experimenting with supervised fine-tuning and in-context learning for automatic narrative detection. We use our best model to label remaining portion of the dataset, then statistically analyze the relationship between narrative style, misinformation, and user-level features on engagement, finding that narrative use is connected to increased tweet engagement and can, in some cases, lead to increased engagement with misinformation. Finally, we analyze the general categories of language used in narratives and health misinformation in our dataset.


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Narrative Detection and Feature Analysis in Online Health Communities
Achyutarama Ganti | Steven Wilson | Zexin Ma | Xinyan Zhao | Rong Ma
Proceedings of the 4th Workshop of Narrative Understanding (WNU2022)

Narratives have been shown to be an effective way to communicate health risks and promote health behavior change, and given the growing amount of health information being shared on social media, it is crucial to study health-related narratives in social media. However, expert identification of a large number of narrative texts is a time consuming process, and larger scale studies on the use of narratives may be enabled through automatic text classification approaches. Prior work has demonstrated that automatic narrative detection is possible, but modern deep learning approaches have not been used for this task in the domain of online health communities. Therefore, in this paper, we explore the use of deep learning methods to automatically classify the presence of narratives in social media posts, finding that they outperform previously proposed approaches. We also find that in many cases, these models generalize well across posts from different health organizations. Finally, in order to better understand the increase in performance achieved by deep learning models, we use feature analysis techniques to explore the features that most contribute to narrative detection for posts in online health communities.