Team QCRI-MIT at SemEval-2019 Task 4: Propaganda Analysis Meets Hyperpartisan News Detection

In this paper, we describe our submission to SemEval-2019 Task 4 on Hyperpartisan News Detection. Our system relies on a variety of engineered features originally used to detect propaganda. This is based on the assumption that biased messages are propagandistic in the sense that they promote a particular political cause or viewpoint. We trained a logistic regression model with features ranging from simple bag-of-words to vocabulary richness and text readability features. Our system achieved 72.9% accuracy on the test data that is annotated manually and 60.8% on the test data that is annotated with distant supervision. Additional experiments showed that significant performance improvements can be achieved with better feature pre-processing.

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