Tariq Alhindi


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AraStance: A Multi-Country and Multi-Domain Dataset of Arabic Stance Detection for Fact Checking
Tariq Alhindi | Amal Alabdulkarim | Ali Alshehri | Muhammad Abdul-Mageed | Preslav Nakov
Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on NLP for Internet Freedom: Censorship, Disinformation, and Propaganda

With the continuing spread of misinformation and disinformation online, it is of increasing importance to develop combating mechanisms at scale in the form of automated systems that support multiple languages. One task of interest is claim veracity prediction, which can be addressed using stance detection with respect to relevant documents retrieved online. To this end, we present our new Arabic Stance Detection dataset (AraStance) of 4,063 claim–article pairs from a diverse set of sources comprising three fact-checking websites and one news website. AraStance covers false and true claims from multiple domains (e.g., politics, sports, health) and several Arab countries, and it is well-balanced between related and unrelated documents with respect to the claims. We benchmark AraStance, along with two other stance detection datasets, using a number of BERT-based models. Our best model achieves an accuracy of 85% and a macro F1 score of 78%, which leaves room for improvement and reflects the challenging nature of AraStance and the task of stance detection in general.

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What to Fact-Check: Guiding Check-Worthy Information Detection in News Articles through Argumentative Discourse Structure
Tariq Alhindi | Brennan McManus | Smaranda Muresan
Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue

Most existing methods for automatic fact-checking start with a precompiled list of claims to verify. We investigate the understudied problem of determining what statements in news articles are worthy to fact-check. We annotate the argument structure of 95 news articles in the climate change domain that are fact-checked by climate scientists at climatefeedback.org. We release the first multi-layer annotated corpus for both argumentative discourse structure (argument types and relations) and for fact-checked statements in news articles. We discuss the connection between argument structure and check-worthy statements and develop several baseline models for detecting check-worthy statements in the climate change domain. Our preliminary results show that using information about argumentative discourse structure shows slight but statistically significant improvement over a baseline of local discourse structure.

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“Sharks are not the threat humans are”: Argument Component Segmentation in School Student Essays
Tariq Alhindi | Debanjan Ghosh
Proceedings of the 16th Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications

Argument mining is often addressed by a pipeline method where segmentation of text into argumentative units is conducted first and proceeded by an argument component identification task. In this research, we apply a token-level classification to identify claim and premise tokens from a new corpus of argumentative essays written by middle school students. To this end, we compare a variety of state-of-the-art models such as discrete features and deep learning architectures (e.g., BiLSTM networks and BERT-based architectures) to identify the argument components. We demonstrate that a BERT-based multi-task learning architecture (i.e., token and sentence level classification) adaptively pretrained on a relevant unlabeled dataset obtains the best results.


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Machine Generation and Detection of Arabic Manipulated and Fake News
El Moatez Billah Nagoudi | AbdelRahim Elmadany | Muhammad Abdul-Mageed | Tariq Alhindi
Proceedings of the Fifth Arabic Natural Language Processing Workshop

Fake news and deceptive machine-generated text are serious problems threatening modern societies, including in the Arab world. This motivates work on detecting false and manipulated stories online. However, a bottleneck for this research is lack of sufficient data to train detection models. We present a novel method for automatically generating Arabic manipulated (and potentially fake) news stories. Our method is simple and only depends on availability of true stories, which are abundant online, and a part of speech tagger (POS). To facilitate future work, we dispense with both of these requirements altogether by providing AraNews, a novel and large POS-tagged news dataset that can be used off-the-shelf. Using stories generated based on AraNews, we carry out a human annotation study that casts light on the effects of machine manipulation on text veracity. The study also measures human ability to detect Arabic machine manipulated text generated by our method. Finally, we develop the first models for detecting manipulated Arabic news and achieve state-of-the-art results on Arabic fake news detection (macro F1=70.06). Our models and data are publicly available.

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DeSePtion: Dual Sequence Prediction and Adversarial Examples for Improved Fact-Checking
Christopher Hidey | Tuhin Chakrabarty | Tariq Alhindi | Siddharth Varia | Kriste Krstovski | Mona Diab | Smaranda Muresan
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

The increased focus on misinformation has spurred development of data and systems for detecting the veracity of a claim as well as retrieving authoritative evidence. The Fact Extraction and VERification (FEVER) dataset provides such a resource for evaluating endto- end fact-checking, requiring retrieval of evidence from Wikipedia to validate a veracity prediction. We show that current systems for FEVER are vulnerable to three categories of realistic challenges for fact-checking – multiple propositions, temporal reasoning, and ambiguity and lexical variation – and introduce a resource with these types of claims. Then we present a system designed to be resilient to these “attacks” using multiple pointer networks for document selection and jointly modeling a sequence of evidence sentences and veracity relation predictions. We find that in handling these attacks we obtain state-of-the-art results on FEVER, largely due to improved evidence retrieval.

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Fact vs. Opinion: the Role of Argumentation Features in News Classification
Tariq Alhindi | Smaranda Muresan | Daniel Preotiuc-Pietro
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

A 2018 study led by the Media Insight Project showed that most journalists think that a clearmarking of what is news reporting and what is commentary or opinion (e.g., editorial, op-ed)is essential for gaining public trust. We present an approach to classify news articles into newsstories (i.e., reporting of factual information) and opinion pieces using models that aim to sup-plement the article content representation with argumentation features. Our hypothesis is thatthe nature of argumentative discourse is important in distinguishing between news stories andopinion articles. We show that argumentation features outperform linguistic features used previ-ously and improve on fine-tuned transformer-based models when tested on data from publishersunseen in training. Automatically flagging opinion pieces vs. news stories can aid applicationssuch as fact-checking or event extraction.


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Spider-Jerusalem at SemEval-2019 Task 4: Hyperpartisan News Detection
Amal Alabdulkarim | Tariq Alhindi
Proceedings of the 13th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation

This paper describes our system for detecting hyperpartisan news articles, which was submitted for the shared task in SemEval 2019 on Hyperpartisan News Detection. We developed a Support Vector Machine (SVM) model that uses TF-IDF of tokens, Language Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) features, and structural features such as number of paragraphs and hyperlink count in an article. The model was trained on 645 articles from two classes: mainstream and hyperpartisan. Our system was ranked seventeenth out of forty two participating teams in the binary classification task with an accuracy score of 0.742 on the blind test set (the accuracy of the top ranked system was 0.822). We provide a detailed description of our preprocessing steps, discussion of our experiments using different combinations of features, and analysis of our results and prediction errors.

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Fine-Tuned Neural Models for Propaganda Detection at the Sentence and Fragment levels
Tariq Alhindi | Jonas Pfeiffer | Smaranda Muresan
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Internet Freedom: Censorship, Disinformation, and Propaganda

This paper presents the CUNLP submission for the NLP4IF 2019 shared-task on Fine-Grained Propaganda Detection. Our system finished 5th out of 26 teams on the sentence-level classification task and 5th out of 11 teams on the fragment-level classification task based on our scores on the blind test set. We present our models, a discussion of our ablation studies and experiments, and an analysis of our performance on all eighteen propaganda techniques present in the corpus of the shared task.


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Where is Your Evidence: Improving Fact-checking by Justification Modeling
Tariq Alhindi | Savvas Petridis | Smaranda Muresan
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Fact Extraction and VERification (FEVER)

Fact-checking is a journalistic practice that compares a claim made publicly against trusted sources of facts. Wang (2017) introduced a large dataset of validated claims from the POLITIFACT.com website (LIAR dataset), enabling the development of machine learning approaches for fact-checking. However, approaches based on this dataset have focused primarily on modeling the claim and speaker-related metadata, without considering the evidence used by humans in labeling the claims. We extend the LIAR dataset by automatically extracting the justification from the fact-checking article used by humans to label a given claim. We show that modeling the extracted justification in conjunction with the claim (and metadata) provides a significant improvement regardless of the machine learning model used (feature-based or deep learning) both in a binary classification task (true, false) and in a six-way classification task (pants on fire, false, mostly false, half true, mostly true, true).

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Robust Document Retrieval and Individual Evidence Modeling for Fact Extraction and Verification.
Tuhin Chakrabarty | Tariq Alhindi | Smaranda Muresan
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Fact Extraction and VERification (FEVER)

This paper presents the ColumbiaNLP submission for the FEVER Workshop Shared Task. Our system is an end-to-end pipeline that extracts factual evidence from Wikipedia and infers a decision about the truthfulness of the claim based on the extracted evidence. Our pipeline achieves significant improvement over the baseline for all the components (Document Retrieval, Sentence Selection and Textual Entailment) both on the development set and the test set. Our team finished 6th out of 24 teams on the leader-board based on the preliminary results with a FEVER score of 49.06 on the blind test set compared to 27.45 of the baseline system.