Telling apart tweets associated with controversial versus noncontroversial topics

Aseel Addawood, Rezvaneh Rezapour, Omid Abdar, Jana Diesner

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

Abstract

In this paper, we evaluate the predictability of tweets associated with controversial versus non-controversial topics. As a first step, we crowd-sourced the scoring of a predefined set of topics on a Likert scale from non-controversial to controversial. Our feature set entails and goes beyond sentiment features, e.g., by leveraging empathic language and other features that have been previously used, but are new for this particular study. We find focusing on the structural characteristics of tweets to be beneficial for this task. Using a combination of emphatic, language-specific, and Twitter-specific features for supervised learning resulted in 87% accuracy (F1) for cross-validation of the training set and 63.4% accuracy when using the test set. Our analysis shows that features specific to Twitter or social media in general are more prevalent in tweets on controversial topics than in non-controversial ones. To test the premise of the paper, we conducted two additional sets of experiments, which led to mixed results. This finding will inform our future investigations into the relationship between language use on social media and the perceived controversiality of topics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Natural Language Processing and Computational Social Science, NLP+CSS 2017 at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2017
EditorsDirk Hovy, Svitlana Volkova, David Bamman, David Jurgens, Brendan O�Connor, Oren Tsur, A. Seza Dogruoz
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages32-41
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781945626654
StatePublished - 2017
Event2nd Workshop on Natural Language Processing and Computational Social Science, NLP+CSS 2017 at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2017 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: Aug 3 2017 → …

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Natural Language Processing and Computational Social Science, NLP+CSS 2017 at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2017

Conference

Conference2nd Workshop on Natural Language Processing and Computational Social Science, NLP+CSS 2017 at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2017
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityVancouver
Period8/3/17 → …

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • General Social Sciences

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