As an initial outcome to my work with Johannes Schaefer from the University of Hildesheim, we have published a short paper on offence direction detection in online comments. We attempted to detect whether conversation are becoming more or less offensive over their duration.

Johannes Schäfer and Ben Burtenshaw Offence in Dialogues: A Corpus-Based Study Proceedings of the International Conference Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing (RANLP 2019), pages 1085-1093, Varna, Bulgaria, September 2-4, 2019. Research Paper

Paper Abstract

In recent years an increasing number of analyses of offensive language has been published, however, dealing mainly with the automatic detection and classification of isolated instances. In this paper we aim to understand the impact of offensive messages in online conversations diachronically, and in particular the change in offensiveness of dialogue turns. In turn,we aim to measure the progression of of-fence level as well as its direction – For example, whether a conversation is escalating or declining in offence. We present our method of extracting linear dialogues from tree-structured conversations in social media data and make our code publicly available.1Furthermore, we discuss methods to analyse this dataset through changes in discourse offensiveness. Our paper includes two main contributions;first, using a neural network to measure the level of offensiveness in conversations;and second, the analysis of conversations around offensive comments using decoupling functions.