MOMENTA: A Multimodal Framework for Detecting Harmful Memes and Their Targets

Shraman Pramanick, Shivam Sharma, Dimitar Dimitrov, Md. Shad Akhtar, Preslav Nakov, Tanmoy Chakraborty


Abstract
Internet memes have become powerful means to transmit political, psychological, and socio-cultural ideas. Although memes are typically humorous, recent days have witnessed an escalation of harmful memes used for trolling, cyberbullying, and abuse. Detecting such memes is challenging as they can be highly satirical and cryptic. Moreover, while previous work has focused on specific aspects of memes such as hate speech and propaganda, there has been little work on harm in general. Here, we aim to bridge this gap. In particular, we focus on two tasks: (i)detecting harmful memes, and (ii) identifying the social entities they target. We further extend the recently released HarMeme dataset, which covered COVID-19, with additional memes and a new topic: US politics. To solve these tasks, we propose MOMENTA (MultimOdal framework for detecting harmful MemEs aNd Their tArgets), a novel multimodal deep neural network that uses global and local perspectives to detect harmful memes. MOMENTA systematically analyzes the local and the global perspective of the input meme (in both modalities) and relates it to the background context. MOMENTA is interpretable and generalizable, and our experiments show that it outperforms several strong rivaling approaches.
Anthology ID:
2021.findings-emnlp.379
Volume:
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021
Month:
November
Year:
2021
Address:
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Venues:
EMNLP | Findings
SIG:
SIGDAT
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
4439–4455
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.findings-emnlp.379
DOI:
Bibkey:
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.findings-emnlp.379.pdf
Code
 lcs2-iiitd/momenta
Data
Harm-CCOCOHateful Memes