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Analysis Project

Developing tools to help readers detect the use of propaganda and analysing how propaganda and extremely-biased articles spread online.

Latest News and Activities

  • Accepted Poster @AI for Social Good Workshop at NEURIPS'19 - Giovanni and Seunghak will present the work on fine-grained propaganda detection for the first time at a machine learning event

Invited Talk @CNR Pisa - Giovanni presented the work on the propaganda techniques at CNR Pisa, Italy. (Dec, 2019)

Invited Talk @Facebook London - Giovanni presented Proppy and the work on fine-grained propaganda detection. Slides available. (Oct. 2019)

Accepted Poster @Truth and Trust Online Conference 2019 - Giovanni and Preslav presented the work on fine-grained propaganda detection. Poster available. (Oct. 2019)

Proppy at "Notte dei Ricercatori" - Notte dei ricercatori (night of researchers) is an annual event in which researchers organise meetings and demonstrations to explain their research to the general public. Alberto showcased Proppy.
Slides in Italian available. (Sep. 2019)



Persuasion Techniques Detection

Propagandist messages are conveyed through a number of rethorical and psychological techniques. 

Papers and Activities

We annotated news articles at the fragment level with 18 persuasion techniques and developed our own machine learning model to automatically detect them [3];
Code and Data are available. You can also try a demo of our model.

State of the Art - Test Your Own Models

We are currently organising a shared task at SemEval 2020. After the task is over, we will keep a live leaderboard for the users to compare the performances of their systems and to keep track of the state of the art. 


Proppy: Document-level Propaganda Detection

Proppy is a system that organizes news articles into events and, for each event, shows articles according to their level of propagandistic content. We aim at raising awareness into individual readers as well as providing tools for organizations to monitor large amounts of news articles.

Papers and Activities

We analyse various representations, from writing style and readability level to the presence of certain keywords for detecting propagandist documents [2]A demo of our work continuously collects articles, organises them into events and their propagandist content, as determined by Proppy [1]



Persuasion Techniques Annotation

Among all persuasion techniques defined in the literature, we have selected the ones that can be found in news articles and the ones that can be spotted intrinsically, i.e., just by reading the article, without resorting to external knowledge. The final list consists of 18 techniques.
Currently, we have annotated 550 articles in collaboration with A Data Pro. The annotation process is described here and in Publication 3 below. The articles publicly available at the moment can be found here.


Propagandist Documents Collection

For our experiments with Proppy, we collected 51k propagandist and non-propagandist articles, labelled using distant supervision according to the labels of the sources provided by Media Bias/Fact Check. The corpus is available for download here


Sep. 2019 - Mar. 2020

SemEval 2020 Task 11 

As a further effort to develop/foster a community around the topic of propaganda detection, we are organising a shared task at SemEval 2020.

11-13 Jul. 2020

Tutorial on "Fact-Checking, Fake News, Propaganda, and Media Bias: Truth Seeking in the Post-Truth Era" @IJCAI'2020

The tutorial will feature a session on propaganda detection. See you in Yokohama!

24-28 Aug. 2020

"Online Disinformation Detection " Course @RUSSIR'2020

The RUSSIR summer school will include our course on online disinformation detection. Lectures on propaganda detection will be part of the course. The school will be held in Moscow. 

3 Nov. 2020

Tutorial on "Fact-Checking, Fake News, Propaganda, and Media Bias: Truth Seeking in the Post-Truth Era" @EMNLP'20

The tutorial will feature a session on propaganda detection.

Past Events

  • Workshop on "Bias, Disinformation, Misinformation and Propaganda in Online News and Social Media" @ Socinfo'2019 - We co-organise the workshop, which will be held in Doha, Qatar. A sizeable number of the submissions were propaganda-related. (Nov. 2019) 
  • NLP for Internet Freedom Workshop (NLP4IF) Workshop @EMNLP'19 - The workshop included a shared task on detecting propaganda techniques. (Nov. 2019) 
  • Hack The News Datathon - we co-organised a Hackathon on propaganda detection at the document-, sentence- and fragment-level (Feb. 2019).



G. Da San Martino, S. Cresci, A. Barrón-Cedeño, S. Yu, R. Di Pietro, P. Nakov, "A Survey on Computational Propaganda Detection", to appear in Proceedings of 29th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence and the 17th Pacific Rim International Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-PRICAI2020), Yokohama, Japan, July 11-17, 2020. 
Bibtex (link to the paper will be provided after its publication in the IJCAI proceedings)


G. Da San Martino, S. Shaar, Y. Zhang, S. Yu, A. Barrón-Cedeño, P. Nakov, "Prta: A System to Support the Analysis of Propaganda Techniques in the News", to appear in Proceedings of the 2020 Annual Conference of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL 2020), Seattle, Washington, USA, July 5-10, 2020. 
Bibtex - Link to the demo


G. Da San Martino, S. Yu, A. Barrón-Cedeño, R. Petrov, P. Nakov, "Fine-Grained Analysis of Propaganda in News Articles", in Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP 2019), Hong Kong, China, November 3-7, 2019. 
Bibtex - Code and Data


A. Barrón-Cedeño, I. Jaradat, G. Da San Martino, P. Nakov, “Proppy: Organizing News Coverage on the Basis of Their Propagandistic Content”, Information Processing and Management, 2019. DOI:10.1016/j.ipm.2019.03.005. 


A. Barrón-Cedeño, G. Da San Martino, I. Jaradat, and P. Nakov, “Proppy: A System to Unmask Propaganda in Online News”, in Proceedings of the Thirty-Third AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI’19), Honolulu, HI, USA, 2019.
Bibtex - Online Demo


Da San Martino



Research Assistant
Università di Bologna


Principal Scientist


Joint Post-doc



PhD Student
University of Texas at Arlington

Email:         Twitter: _proppy_