Beyond Fact-Checking: Lexical Patterns as Lie Detectors in Donald Trump’s Tweets
Davis, D. & Sinnreich, A. (2020). Beyond fact-checking: Lexical patterns as lie detectors in Donald Trump’s tweets. International Journal of Communication, 14, 5237–5260.
33 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2022
Date Written: 2020
Journalists often debate whether to call Donald Trump’s falsehoods “lies” or stop short of implying intent. This article proposes an empirical tool to supplement traditional fact-checking methods and address the practical challenge of identifying lies. Analyzing Trump’s tweets with a regression function designed to predict true and false claims based on their language and composition, it finds significant evidence of intent underlying most of Trump’s false claims, and makes the case for calling them lies when that outcome agrees with the results of traditional fact-checking procedures.
Keywords: Donald Trump; fact-checking; journalism; lying; Twitter; truth-default theory
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