Meta-learning for fake news detection surrounding the Syrian war

Elsevier, Patterns, Volume 2, 12 November 2021
Abu Salem F.K., Al Feel R., Elbassuoni S., Ghannam H., Jaber M., Farah M.
In this article, we pursue the automatic detection of fake news reporting on the Syrian war using machine learning and meta-learning. The proposed approach is based on a suite of features that include a given article's linguistic style; its level of subjectivity, sensationalism, and sectarianism; the strength of its attribution; and its consistency with other news articles from the same “media camp”. To train our models, we use FA-KES, a fake news dataset about the Syrian war. A suite of basic machine learning models is explored, as well as the model-agnostic meta-learning algorithm (MAML) suitable for few-shot learning, using datasets of a modest size. Feature-importance analysis confirms that the collected features specific to the Syrian war are indeed very important predictors for the output label. The meta-learning model achieves the best performance, improving upon the baseline approaches that are trained exclusively on text features in FA-KES.