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Examination of fake news from a viral perspective: an interplay of emotions, resonance, and sentiments

Krishnadas Nanath (Department of Computer Engineering and Informatics, Middlesex University – Dubai Campus, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Supriya Kaitheri (Middlesex University – Dubai Campus, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Sonia Malik (Middlesex University – Dubai Campus, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Shahid Mustafa (Middlesex University – Dubai Campus, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Journal of Systems and Information Technology

ISSN: 1328-7265

Article publication date: 14 January 2022

Issue publication date: 11 April 2022

831

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors that significantly affect the prediction of fake news from the virality theory perspective. The paper looks at a mix of emotion-driven content, sentimental resonance, topic modeling and linguistic features of news articles to predict the probability of fake news.

Design/methodology/approach

A data set of over 12,000 articles was chosen to develop a model for fake news detection. Machine learning algorithms and natural language processing techniques were used to handle big data with efficiency. Lexicon-based emotion analysis provided eight kinds of emotions used in the article text. The cluster of topics was extracted using topic modeling (five topics), while sentiment analysis provided the resonance between the title and the text. Linguistic features were added to the coding outcomes to develop a logistic regression predictive model for testing the significant variables. Other machine learning algorithms were also executed and compared.

Findings

The results revealed that positive emotions in a text lower the probability of news being fake. It was also found that sensational content like illegal activities and crime-related content were associated with fake news. The news title and the text exhibiting similar sentiments were found to be having lower chances of being fake. News titles with more words and content with fewer words were found to impact fake news detection significantly.

Practical implications

Several systems and social media platforms today are trying to implement fake news detection methods to filter the content. This research provides exciting parameters from a viral theory perspective that could help develop automated fake news detectors.

Originality/value

While several studies have explored fake news detection, this study uses a new perspective on viral theory. It also introduces new parameters like sentimental resonance that could help predict fake news. This study deals with an extensive data set and uses advanced natural language processing to automate the coding techniques in developing the prediction model.

Keywords

Citation

Nanath, K., Kaitheri, S., Malik, S. and Mustafa, S. (2022), "Examination of fake news from a viral perspective: an interplay of emotions, resonance, and sentiments", Journal of Systems and Information Technology, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 131-155. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSIT-11-2020-0257

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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