Determining the Veracity of Rumours on Twitter

  • Georgios GiasemidisEmail author
  • Colin Singleton
  • Ioannis Agrafiotis
  • Jason R. C. Nurse
  • Alan Pilgrim
  • Chris Willis
  • D. V. Greetham
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10046)


While social networks can provide an ideal platform for up-to-date information from individuals across the world, it has also proved to be a place where rumours fester and accidental or deliberate misinformation often emerges. In this article, we aim to support the task of making sense from social media data, and specifically, seek to build an autonomous message-classifier that filters relevant and trustworthy information from Twitter. For our work, we collected about 100 million public tweets, including users’ past tweets, from which we identified 72 rumours (41 true, 31 false). We considered over 80 trustworthiness measures including the authors’ profile and past behaviour, the social network connections (graphs), and the content of tweets themselves. We ran modern machine-learning classifiers over those measures to produce trustworthiness scores at various time windows from the outbreak of the rumour. Such time-windows were key as they allowed useful insight into the progression of the rumours. From our findings, we identified that our model was significantly more accurate than similar studies in the literature. We also identified critical attributes of the data that give rise to the trustworthiness scores assigned. Finally we developed a software demonstration that provides a visual user interface to allow the user to examine the analysis.


Logistic Regression Propagation Graph Random Forest Model Decision Tree Algorithm Trustworthiness Score 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was partly supported by UK Defence Science and Technology Labs under Centre for Defence Enterprise grant CDE42008. We thank Andrew Middleton for his helpful comments during the project. We would also like to thank Nathaniel Charlton and Matthew Edgington for their assistance in collecting and preprocessing part of the data.

Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georgios Giasemidis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Colin Singleton
    • 1
  • Ioannis Agrafiotis
    • 2
  • Jason R. C. Nurse
    • 2
  • Alan Pilgrim
    • 3
  • Chris Willis
    • 3
  • D. V. Greetham
    • 4
  1. 1.CountingLab Ltd.ReadingUK
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  3. 3.BAE Systems Applied IntelligenceChelmsfordUK
  4. 4.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of ReadingReadingUK

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