DOI: 10.36190/2021.31

Published: 2021-06-01
Exploring New Methods for Identifying False Information and the Intent Behind It on Social Media: COVID-19 Tweets
Lin Ai, Run Chen, Ziwei Gong, Julia Guo, Shayan Hooshmand, Zixiaofan Yang, Julia Hirschberg

The detection of false information is an important task today, because its spread erodes the trust of people with their government and each other and leads to atmospheres of suspicion and growing political divides. Social media, though it has many benefits, such as helping friends stay connected, has contributed to the spread of false information because of its accessible, free, and highly connected nature. Over the past year, false information on social media has played a particularly large role in the perpetuation of false information about COVID-19: where it started, how serious it is, what cures are effective, and how to avoid infection. While there has been much research on how to identify false information, very little work has focused on the intent behind such falsification. In this paper we present our ongoing work on identifying not only false information about COVID-19 but the intent behind its production: is this false information created for purposes of malice or for other purposes? What are the different types of malicious and non-malicious purpose? Can we identify these automatically?