Using Persuasive Writing Strategies to Explain and Detect Health Misinformation

Danial Kamali, Joseph Romain, Huiyi Liu,Wei Peng,Jingbo Meng,Parisa Kordjamshidi

International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation(2022)

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The spread of misinformation is a prominent problem in today's society, and many researchers in academia and industry are trying to combat it. Due to the vast amount of misinformation that is created every day, it is unrealistic to leave this task to human fact-checkers. Data scientists and researchers have been working on automated misinformation detection for years, and it is still a challenging problem today. The goal of our research is to add a new level to automated misinformation detection; classifying segments of text with persuasive writing techniques in order to produce interpretable reasoning for why an article can be marked as misinformation. To accomplish this, we present a novel annotation scheme containing many common persuasive writing tactics, along with a dataset with human annotations accordingly. For this task, we make use of a RoBERTa model for text classification, due to its high performance in NLP. We develop several language model-based baselines and present the results of our persuasive strategy label predictions as well as the improvements these intermediate labels make in detecting misinformation and producing interpretable results.
persuasive writing strategies,health
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