Linguistic predictors of rumor veracity on the Internet

Alton Y.K. Chua, Snehasish Banerjee

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper attempts to investigate the role of language in predicting the veracity of rumors on the Internet. Specifically, it seeks to examine rumor veracity as a function of six groups of linguistic predictors. These include rumors’ (1) comprehensibility, (2) sentiment, (3) time-orientation, (4) quantitative details, (5) writing style, and (6) topic. A dataset of 2,391 rumors, about 20% of which were true and the rest false, drawn from the rumor-verification website was used for investigation. The operationalized measures of the linguistic predictors were calculated for all rumors using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) tool. Binomial logistic regression was used for data analysis. The model performed generally well. The results specifically indicated that rumor veracity could be predicated by comprehensibility, time-orientation, writing style and topic of rumors.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventInternational MultiConference of Engineers and Computer Scientists: International Conference on Internet Computing and Web Services - , Hong Kong
Duration: 16 Mar 201618 Mar 2016


ConferenceInternational MultiConference of Engineers and Computer Scientists
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
Internet address

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