Accenture at CheckThat! 2020: If you say so: Post-hoc fact-checking of claims using transformer-based models

by   Evan Williams, et al.

We introduce the strategies used by the Accenture Team for the CLEF2020 CheckThat! Lab, Task 1, on English and Arabic. This shared task evaluated whether a claim in social media text should be professionally fact checked. To a journalist, a statement presented as fact, which would be of interest to a large audience, requires professional fact-checking before dissemination. We utilized BERT and RoBERTa models to identify claims in social media text a professional fact-checker should review, and rank these in priority order for the fact-checker. For the English challenge, we fine-tuned a RoBERTa model and added an extra mean pooling layer and a dropout layer to enhance generalizability to unseen text. For the Arabic task, we fine-tuned Arabic-language BERT models and demonstrate the use of back-translation to amplify the minority class and balance the dataset. The work presented here was scored 1st place in the English track, and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place in the Arabic track.


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