Weak Supervision for Fake News Detection via Reinforcement Learning


  • Yaqing Wang State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Weifeng Yang WeChat, Tencent Inc.
  • Fenglong Ma Pennsylvania State University
  • Jin Xu WeChat, Tencent Inc.
  • Bin Zhong WeChat, Tencent Inc.
  • Qiang Deng WeChat, Tencent Inc.
  • Jing Gao State University of New York at Buffalo




Today social media has become the primary source for news. Via social media platforms, fake news travel at unprecedented speeds, reach global audiences and put users and communities at great risk. Therefore, it is extremely important to detect fake news as early as possible. Recently, deep learning based approaches have shown improved performance in fake news detection. However, the training of such models requires a large amount of labeled data, but manual annotation is time-consuming and expensive. Moreover, due to the dynamic nature of news, annotated samples may become outdated quickly and cannot represent the news articles on newly emerged events. Therefore, how to obtain fresh and high-quality labeled samples is the major challenge in employing deep learning models for fake news detection. In order to tackle this challenge, we propose a reinforced weakly-supervised fake news detection framework, i.e., WeFEND, which can leverage users' reports as weak supervision to enlarge the amount of training data for fake news detection. The proposed framework consists of three main components: the annotator, the reinforced selector and the fake news detector. The annotator can automatically assign weak labels for unlabeled news based on users' reports. The reinforced selector using reinforcement learning techniques chooses high-quality samples from the weakly labeled data and filters out those low-quality ones that may degrade the detector's prediction performance. The fake news detector aims to identify fake news based on the news content. We tested the proposed framework on a large collection of news articles published via WeChat official accounts and associated user reports. Extensive experiments on this dataset show that the proposed WeFEND model achieves the best performance compared with the state-of-the-art methods.




How to Cite

Wang, Y., Yang, W., Ma, F., Xu, J., Zhong, B., Deng, Q., & Gao, J. (2020). Weak Supervision for Fake News Detection via Reinforcement Learning. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 34(01), 516-523. https://doi.org/10.1609/aaai.v34i01.5389



AAAI Special Technical Track: AI for Social Impact