Leveraging the implicit structure within social media for emergent rumor detection

Justin Sampson, Fred Morstatter, Liang Wu, Huan Liu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

76 Scopus citations


The automatic and early detection of rumors is of paramount importance as the spread of information with questionable veracity can have devastating consequences. This became starkly apparent when, in early 2013, a compromised Associated Press account issued a tweet claiming that there had been an explosion at the White House. This tweet resulted in a significant drop for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Most existing work in rumor detection leverages conversation statistics and propagation patterns, however, such patterns tend to emerge slowly requiring a conversation to have a significant number of interactions in order to become eligible for classification. In this work, we propose a method for classifying conversations within their formative stages as well as improving accuracy within mature conversations through the discovery of implicit linkages between conversation fragments. In our experiments, we show that current state-of-the-art rumor classification methods can leverage implicit links to significantly improve the ability to properly classify emergent conversations when very little conversation data is available. Adopting this technique allows rumor detection methods to continue to provide a high degree of classification accuracy on emergent conversations with as few as a single tweet. This improvement virtually eliminates the delay of conversation growth inherent in current rumor classification methods while significantly increasing the number of conversations considered viable for classification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCIKM 2016 - Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450340731
StatePublished - Oct 24 2016
Event25th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM 2016 - Indianapolis, United States
Duration: Oct 24 2016Oct 28 2016

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, Proceedings


Conference25th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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