No Rumours Please! A Multi-Indic-Lingual Approach for COVID Fake-Tweet Detection

by   Debanjana Kar, et al.

The sudden widespread menace created by the present global pandemic COVID-19 has had an unprecedented effect on our lives. Man-kind is going through humongous fear and dependence on social media like never before. Fear inevitably leads to panic, speculations, and the spread of misinformation. Many governments have taken measures to curb the spread of such misinformation for public well being. Besides global measures, to have effective outreach, systems for demographically local languages have an important role to play in this effort. Towards this, we propose an approach to detect fake news about COVID-19 early on from social media, such as tweets, for multiple Indic-Languages besides English. In addition, we also create an annotated dataset of Hindi and Bengali tweet for fake news detection. We propose a BERT based model augmented with additional relevant features extracted from Twitter to identify fake tweets. To expand our approach to multiple Indic languages, we resort to mBERT based model which is fine-tuned over created dataset in Hindi and Bengali. We also propose a zero-shot learning approach to alleviate the data scarcity issue for such low resource languages. Through rigorous experiments, we show that our approach reaches around 89 the state-of-the-art (SOTA) results. Moreover, we establish the first benchmark for two Indic-Languages, Hindi and Bengali. Using our annotated data, our model achieves about 79 zero-shot model achieves about 81 Tweets without any annotated data, which clearly indicates the efficacy of our approach.


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