Yongchun Zhu


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Zoom Out and Observe: News Environment Perception for Fake News Detection
Qiang Sheng | Juan Cao | Xueyao Zhang | Rundong Li | Danding Wang | Yongchun Zhu
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Fake news detection is crucial for preventing the dissemination of misinformation on social media. To differentiate fake news from real ones, existing methods observe the language patterns of the news post and “zoom in” to verify its content with knowledge sources or check its readers’ replies. However, these methods neglect the information in the external news environment where a fake news post is created and disseminated. The news environment represents recent mainstream media opinion and public attention, which is an important inspiration of fake news fabrication because fake news is often designed to ride the wave of popular events and catch public attention with unexpected novel content for greater exposure and spread. To capture the environmental signals of news posts, we “zoom out” to observe the news environment and propose the News Environment Perception Framework (NEP). For each post, we construct its macro and micro news environment from recent mainstream news. Then we design a popularity-oriented and a novelty-oriented module to perceive useful signals and further assist final prediction. Experiments on our newly built datasets show that the NEP can efficiently improve the performance of basic fake news detectors.

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Improving Fake News Detection of Influential Domain via Domain- and Instance-Level Transfer
Qiong Nan | Danding Wang | Yongchun Zhu | Qiang Sheng | Yuhui Shi | Juan Cao | Jintao Li
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Social media spreads both real news and fake news in various domains including politics, health, entertainment, etc. It is crucial to automatically detect fake news, especially for news of influential domains like politics and health because they may lead to serious social impact, e.g., panic in the COVID-19 pandemic. Some studies indicate the correlation between domains and perform multi-domain fake news detection. However, these multi-domain methods suffer from a seesaw problem that the performance of some domains is often improved by hurting the performance of other domains, which could lead to an unsatisfying performance in the specific target domains. To address this issue, we propose a Domain- and Instance-level Transfer Framework for Fake News Detection (DITFEND), which could improve the performance of specific target domains. To transfer coarse-grained domain-level knowledge, we train a general model with data of all domains from the meta-learning perspective. To transfer fine-grained instance-level knowledge and adapt the general model to a target domain, a language model is trained on the target domain to evaluate the transferability of each data instance in source domains and re-weight the instance’s contribution. Experiments on two real-world datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of DITFEND. According to both offline and online experiments, the DITFEND shows superior effectiveness for fake news detection.