Is Explanation the Cure? Misinformation Mitigation in the Short Term and Long Term

Yi Li Hsu, Shih Chieh Dai, Aiping Xiong, Lun Wei Ku

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


With advancements in natural language processing (NLP) models, automatic explanation generation has been proposed to mitigate misinformation on social media platforms in addition to adding warning labels to identified fake news. While many researchers have focused on generating good explanations, how these explanations can really help humans combat fake news is under-explored. In this study, we compare the effectiveness of a warning label and the state-ofthe-art counterfactual explanations generated by GPT-4 in debunking misinformation. In a two-wave, online human-subject study, participants (N = 215) were randomly assigned to a control group in which false contents are shown without any intervention, a warning tag group in which the false claims were labeled, or an explanation group in which the false contents were accompanied by GPT-4 generated explanations. Our results show that both interventions significantly decrease participants' self-reported belief in fake claims in an equivalent manner for the short-term and long-term. We discuss the implications of our findings and directions for future NLP-based misinformation debunking strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFindings of the Association for Computational Linguistics
Subtitle of host publicationEMNLP 2023
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9798891760615
StatePublished - 2023
Event2023 Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: Dec 6 2023Dec 10 2023

Publication series

NameFindings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023


Conference2023 Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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