Islamophobia and Natural Language Processing update (November 13, 2020)

I recently gave a talk “at” UMass Lowell which serves as a pretty reasonable update on the Islamophobia and NLP project. It’s fair to say progress this year has been slower than hoped for, but there has at least been some.

You can watch the talk here, and find the slides here.

Title: Automatically Identifying Islamophobia in Social Media

Abstract : Social media continues to grow in its scope, importance, and toxicity. Hate speech is ever-present in today’s social media, and causes or
contributes to dangerous situations in the real world for those it targets. Anti-Muslim bias and hatred has escalated in both public life and social media in recent years. This talk will overview a new and ongoing project in identifying Islamophobia in social media using techniques from Natural Language Processing. I will describe our methods of data collection and annotation,and discuss some of the challenges we have encountered thus far. In addition I’ll describe some of the pitfalls that exist for any effort attempting to identify hate speech (automatically or not).

2019 updates:

  • July (project kickoff)
  • August (background reading, Ilhan Omar, Minnesota)
  • December (background reading, Genocide)

2020 Updates

  • May (annotation scheme)
  • August (data statement)

Please stay in touch!



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Ted Pedersen

Computer Science professor at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Natural Language Processing and Computational Linguistics.