Reliability Prediction for Health-related Content: A Replicability Study

Determining reliability of online data is a challenge that has recently received increasing attention. In particular, unreliable health-related content has become pervasive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous research has approached this problem with standard classification technology using a set of features that have included linguistic and external variables, among others. In this work, we aim to replicate parts of the study conducted by Sondhi and his colleagues using our own code, and make it available for the research community. The performance obtained in this study is as strong as the one reported by the original authors. Moreover, their conclusions are also confirmed by our replicability study. We report on the challenges involved in replication, including that it was impossible to replicate the computation of some features (since some tools or services originally used are now outdated or unavailable). Finally, we also report on a generalisation effort made to evaluate our predictive technology over new datasets.

keywords: reliability, language, health-related content