We investigate predictors of anti-Asian hate among Twitter users throughout COVID-19. With the rise of xenophobia and polarization that has accompanied widespread social media usage in many nations, online hate has become a major social issue, attracting many researchers. Here, we apply natural language processing techniques to characterize social media users who began to post anti-Asian hate messages during COVID-19. We compare two user groups—those who posted anti-Asian slurs and those who did not—with respect to a rich set of features measured with data prior to COVID-19 and show that it is possible to predict who later publicly posted anti-Asian slurs. Our analysis of predictive features underlines the potential impact of news media and information sources that report on online hate and calls for further investigation into the role of polarized communication networks and news media.
Predicting the political bias and the factuality of reporting of entire news outlets are critical elements of media profiling, which is an understudied but an increasingly important research direction. The present level of proliferation of fake, biased, and propagandistic content online has made it impossible to fact-check every single suspicious claim, either manually or automatically. Thus, it has been proposed to profile entire news outlets and to look for those that are likely to publish fake or biased content. This makes it possible to detect likely “fake news” the moment they are published, by simply checking the reliability of their source. From a practical perspective, political bias and factuality of reporting have a linguistic aspect but also a social context. Here, we study the impact of both, namely (i) what was written (i.e., what was published by the target medium, and how it describes itself in Twitter) vs. (ii) who reads it (i.e., analyzing the target medium’s audience on social media). We further study (iii) what was written about the target medium (in Wikipedia). The evaluation results show that what was written matters most, and we further show that putting all information sources together yields huge improvements over the current state-of-the-art.
We introduce Tanbih, a news aggregator with intelligent analysis tools to help readers understanding what’s behind a news story. Our system displays news grouped into events and generates media profiles that show the general factuality of reporting, the degree of propagandistic content, hyper-partisanship, leading political ideology, general frame of reporting, and stance with respect to various claims and topics of a news outlet. In addition, we automatically analyse each article to detect whether it is propagandistic and to determine its stance with respect to a number of controversial topics.
Because word semantics can substantially change across communities and contexts, capturing domain-specific word semantics is an important challenge. Here, we propose SemAxis, a simple yet powerful framework to characterize word semantics using many semantic axes in word-vector spaces beyond sentiment. We demonstrate that SemAxis can capture nuanced semantic representations in multiple online communities. We also show that, when the sentiment axis is examined, SemAxis outperforms the state-of-the-art approaches in building domain-specific sentiment lexicons.