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Fool’s Errand: Looking at April Fools Hoaxes as Disinformation through the Lens of Deception and Humour

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paperpeer-review

Published
Publication date7/04/2019
Number of pages17
<mark>Original language</mark>English
Event20th International Conference on Computational Linguistics and
Intelligent Text Processing
- La Rochelle, France
Duration: 7/04/201913/04/2019

Conference

Conference20th International Conference on Computational Linguistics and
Intelligent Text Processing
Abbreviated titleCICLing 2019
CountryFrance
CityLa Rochelle
Period7/04/1913/04/19

Abstract

Every year on April 1st, people play practical jokes on one another and news websites fabricate false stories with the goal of making fools of their audience. In an age of disinformation, with Facebook under fire for allowing “Fake News” to spread on their platform, every day can feel like April Fools’ day. We create a dataset of April Fools’ hoax news articles and build a set of features based on past research examining deception, humour, and satire. Analysis of our dataset and features suggests that looking at the structural complexity and levels of detail in a text are the most important types of feature in characterising April Fools’. We propose that these features are also very useful for understanding Fake News, and disinformation more widely.