Casper Hansen


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Automatic Fake News Detection: Are Models Learning to Reason?
Casper Hansen | Christian Hansen | Lucas Chaves Lima
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)

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.


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MultiFC: A Real-World Multi-Domain Dataset for Evidence-Based Fact Checking of Claims
Isabelle Augenstein | Christina Lioma | Dongsheng Wang | Lucas Chaves Lima | Casper Hansen | Christian Hansen | Jakob Grue Simonsen
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

We contribute the largest publicly available dataset of naturally occurring factual claims for the purpose of automatic claim verification. It is collected from 26 fact checking websites in English, paired with textual sources and rich metadata, and labelled for veracity by human expert journalists. We present an in-depth analysis of the dataset, highlighting characteristics and challenges. Further, we present results for automatic veracity prediction, both with established baselines and with a novel method for joint ranking of evidence pages and predicting veracity that outperforms all baselines. Significant performance increases are achieved by encoding evidence, and by modelling metadata. Our best-performing model achieves a Macro F1 of 49.2%, showing that this is a challenging testbed for claim veracity prediction.