Megha Sundriyal


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From Chaos to Clarity: Claim Normalization to Empower Fact-Checking
Megha Sundriyal | Tanmoy Chakraborty | Preslav Nakov
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

With the proliferation of social media platforms, users are exposed to vast information, including posts containing misleading claims. However, the pervasive noise inherent in these posts presents a challenge in identifying precise and prominent claims that require verification. Extracting the core assertions from such posts is arduous and time-consuming. We introduce a novel task, called Claim Normalization (aka ClaimNorm) that aims to decompose complex and noisy social media posts into more straightforward and understandable forms, termed normalized claims. We propose CACN , a pioneering approach that leverages chain-of-thought and claim check-worthiness estimation, mimicking human reasoning processes, to comprehend intricate claims. Moreover, we capitalize on large language models’ powerful in-context learning abilities to provide guidance and improve the claim normalization process. To evaluate the effectiveness of our proposed model, we meticulously compile a comprehensive real-world dataset, CLAN, comprising more than 6k instances of social media posts alongside their respective normalized claims. Experimentation demonstrates that CACN outperforms several baselines across various evaluation measures. A rigorous error analysis validates CACN‘s capabilities and pitfalls. We release our dataset and code at

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Lost in Translation, Found in Spans: Identifying Claims in Multilingual Social Media
Shubham Mittal | Megha Sundriyal | Preslav Nakov
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Claim span identification (CSI) is an important step in fact-checking pipelines, aiming to identify text segments that contain a check-worthy claim or assertion in a social media post. Despite its importance to journalists and human fact-checkers, it remains a severely understudied problem, and the scarce research on this topic so far has only focused on English. Here we aim to bridge this gap by creating a novel dataset, X-CLAIM, consisting of 7K real-world claims collected from numerous social media platforms in five Indian languages and English. We report strong baselines with state-of-the-art encoder-only language models (e.g., XLM-R) and we demonstrate the benefits of training on multiple languages over alternative cross-lingual transfer methods such as zero-shot transfer, or training on translated data, from a high-resource language such as English. We evaluate generative large language models from the GPT series using prompting methods on the X-CLAIM dataset and we find that they underperform the smaller encoder-only language models for low-resource languages.


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Empowering the Fact-checkers! Automatic Identification of Claim Spans on Twitter
Megha Sundriyal | Atharva Kulkarni | Vaibhav Pulastya | Md. Shad Akhtar | Tanmoy Chakraborty
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The widespread diffusion of medical and political claims in the wake of COVID-19 has led to a voluminous rise in misinformation and fake news. The current vogue is to employ manual fact-checkers to efficiently classify and verify such data to combat this avalanche of claim-ridden misinformation. However, the rate of information dissemination is such that it vastly outpaces the fact-checkers’ strength. Therefore, to aid manual fact-checkers in eliminating the superfluous content, it becomes imperative to automatically identify and extract the snippets of claim-worthy (mis)information present in a post. In this work, we introduce the novel task of Claim Span Identification (CSI). We propose CURT, a large-scale Twitter corpus with token-level claim spans on more than 7.5k tweets. Furthermore, along with the standard token classification baselines, we benchmark our dataset with DABERTa, an adapter-based variation of RoBERTa. The experimental results attest that DABERTa outperforms the baseline systems across several evaluation metrics, improving by about 1.5 points. We also report detailed error analysis to validate the model’s performance along with the ablation studies. Lastly, we release our comprehensive span annotation guidelines for public use.

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Document Retrieval and Claim Verification to Mitigate COVID-19 Misinformation
Megha Sundriyal | Ganeshan Malhotra | Md Shad Akhtar | Shubhashis Sengupta | Andrew Fano | Tanmoy Chakraborty
Proceedings of the Workshop on Combating Online Hostile Posts in Regional Languages during Emergency Situations

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the spread of misinformation on online social media has grown exponentially. Unverified bogus claims on these platforms regularly mislead people, leading them to believe in half-baked truths. The current vogue is to employ manual fact-checkers to verify claims to combat this avalanche of misinformation. However, establishing such claims’ veracity is becoming increasingly challenging, partly due to the plethora of information available, which is difficult to process manually. Thus, it becomes imperative to verify claims automatically without human interventions. To cope up with this issue, we propose an automated claim verification solution encompassing two steps – document retrieval and veracity prediction. For the retrieval module, we employ a hybrid search-based system with BM25 as a base retriever and experiment with recent state-of-the-art transformer-based models for re-ranking. Furthermore, we use a BART-based textual entailment architecture to authenticate the retrieved documents in the later step. We report experimental findings, demonstrating that our retrieval module outperforms the best baseline system by 10.32 NDCG@100 points. We escort a demonstration to assess the efficacy and impact of our suggested solution. As a byproduct of this study, we present an open-source, easily deployable, and user-friendly Python API that the community can adopt.


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LESA: Linguistic Encapsulation and Semantic Amalgamation Based Generalised Claim Detection from Online Content
Shreya Gupta | Parantak Singh | Megha Sundriyal | Md. Shad Akhtar | Tanmoy Chakraborty
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

The conceptualization of a claim lies at the core of argument mining. The segregation of claims is complex, owing to the divergence in textual syntax and context across different distributions. Another pressing issue is the unavailability of labeled unstructured text for experimentation. In this paper, we propose LESA, a framework which aims at advancing headfirst into expunging the former issue by assembling a source-independent generalized model that captures syntactic features through part-of-speech and dependency embeddings, as well as contextual features through a fine-tuned language model. We resolve the latter issue by annotating a Twitter dataset which aims at providing a testing ground on a large unstructured dataset. Experimental results show that LESA improves upon the state-of-the-art performance across six benchmark claim datasets by an average of 3 claim-F1 points for in-domain experiments and by 2 claim-F1 points for general-domain experiments. On our dataset too, LESA outperforms existing baselines by 1 claim-F1 point on the in-domain experiments and 2 claim-F1 points on the general-domain experiments. We also release comprehensive data annotation guidelines compiled during the annotation phase (which was missing in the current literature).