Paula Fortuna


Directions for NLP Practices Applied to Online Hate Speech Detection
Paula Fortuna | Monica Dominguez | Leo Wanner | Zeerak Talat
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Addressing hate speech in online spaces has been conceptualized as a classification task that uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques. Through this conceptualization, the hate speech detection task has relied on common conventions and practices from NLP. For instance, inter-annotator agreement is conceptualized as a way to measure dataset quality and certain metrics and benchmarks are used to assure model generalization. However, hate speech is a deeply complex and situated concept that eludes such static and disembodied practices. In this position paper, we critically reflect on these methodologies for hate speech detection, we argue that many conventions in NLP are poorly suited for the problem and encourage researchers to develop methods that are more appropriate for the task.


Cartography of Natural Language Processing for Social Good (NLP4SG): Searching for Definitions, Statistics and White Spots
Paula Fortuna | Laura Pérez-Mayos | Ahmed AbuRa’ed | Juan Soler-Company | Leo Wanner
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on NLP for Positive Impact

The range of works that can be considered as developing NLP for social good (NLP4SG) is enormous. While many of them target the identification of hate speech or fake news, there are others that address, e.g., text simplification to alleviate consequences of dyslexia, or coaching strategies to fight depression. However, so far, there is no clear picture of what areas are targeted by NLP4SG, who are the actors, which are the main scenarios and what are the topics that have been left aside. In order to obtain a clearer view in this respect, we first propose a working definition of NLP4SG and identify some primary aspects that are crucial for NLP4SG, including, e.g., areas, ethics, privacy and bias. Then, we draw upon a corpus of around 50,000 articles downloaded from the ACL Anthology. Based on a list of keywords retrieved from the literature and revised in view of the task, we select from this corpus articles that can be considered to be on NLP4SG according to our definition and analyze them in terms of trends along the time line, etc. The result is a map of the current NLP4SG research and insights concerning the white spots on this map.

MIN_PT: An European Portuguese Lexicon for Minorities Related Terms
Paula Fortuna | Vanessa Cortez | Miguel Sozinho Ramalho | Laura Pérez-Mayos
Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Online Abuse and Harms (WOAH 2021)

Hate speech-related lexicons have been proved to be useful for many tasks such as data collection and classification. However, existing Portuguese lexicons do not distinguish between European and Brazilian Portuguese, and do not include neutral terms that are potentially useful to detect a broader spectrum of content referring to minorities. In this work, we present MIN_PT, a new European Portuguese Lexicon for Minorities-Related Terms specifically designed to tackle the limitations of existing resources. We describe the data collection and annotation process, discuss the limitation and ethical concerns, and prove the utility of the resource by applying it to a use case for the Portuguese 2021 presidential elections.

Targets and Aspects in Social Media Hate Speech
Alexander Shvets | Paula Fortuna | Juan Soler | Leo Wanner
Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Online Abuse and Harms (WOAH 2021)

Mainstream research on hate speech focused so far predominantly on the task of classifying mainly social media posts with respect to predefined typologies of rather coarse-grained hate speech categories. This may be sufficient if the goal is to detect and delete abusive language posts. However, removal is not always possible due to the legislation of a country. Also, there is evidence that hate speech cannot be successfully combated by merely removing hate speech posts; they should be countered by education and counter-narratives. For this purpose, we need to identify (i) who is the target in a given hate speech post, and (ii) what aspects (or characteristics) of the target are attributed to the target in the post. As the first approximation, we propose to adapt a generic state-of-the-art concept extraction model to the hate speech domain. The outcome of the experiments is promising and can serve as inspiration for further work on the task


Toxic, Hateful, Offensive or Abusive? What Are We Really Classifying? An Empirical Analysis of Hate Speech Datasets
Paula Fortuna | Juan Soler | Leo Wanner
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

The field of the automatic detection of hate speech and related concepts has raised a lot of interest in the last years. Different datasets were annotated and classified by means of applying different machine learning algorithms. However, few efforts were done in order to clarify the applied categories and homogenize different datasets. Our study takes up this demand. We analyze six different publicly available datasets in this field with respect to their similarity and compatibility. We conduct two different experiments. First, we try to make the datasets compatible and represent the dataset classes as Fast Text word vectors analyzing the similarity between different classes in a intra and inter dataset manner. Second, we submit the chosen datasets to the Perspective API Toxicity classifier, achieving different performances depending on the categories and datasets. One of the main conclusions of these experiments is that many different definitions are being used for equivalent concepts, which makes most of the publicly available datasets incompatible. Grounded in our analysis, we provide guidelines for future dataset collection and annotation.


A Hierarchically-Labeled Portuguese Hate Speech Dataset
Paula Fortuna | João Rocha da Silva | Juan Soler-Company | Leo Wanner | Sérgio Nunes
Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Abusive Language Online

Over the past years, the amount of online offensive speech has been growing steadily. To successfully cope with it, machine learning are applied. However, ML-based techniques require sufficiently large annotated datasets. In the last years, different datasets were published, mainly for English. In this paper, we present a new dataset for Portuguese, which has not been in focus so far. The dataset is composed of 5,668 tweets. For its annotation, we defined two different schemes used by annotators with different levels of expertise. Firstly, non-experts annotated the tweets with binary labels (‘hate’ vs. ‘no-hate’). Secondly, expert annotators classified the tweets following a fine-grained hierarchical multiple label scheme with 81 hate speech categories in total. The inter-annotator agreement varied from category to category, which reflects the insight that some types of hate speech are more subtle than others and that their detection depends on personal perception. This hierarchical annotation scheme is the main contribution of the presented work, as it facilitates the identification of different types of hate speech and their intersections. To demonstrate the usefulness of our dataset, we carried a baseline classification experiment with pre-trained word embeddings and LSTM on the binary classified data, with a state-of-the-art outcome.

Stop PropagHate at SemEval-2019 Tasks 5 and 6: Are abusive language classification results reproducible?
Paula Fortuna | Juan Soler-Company | Sérgio Nunes
Proceedings of the 13th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation

This paper summarizes the participation of Stop PropagHate team at SemEval 2019. Our approach is based on replicating one of the most relevant works on the literature, using word embeddings and LSTM. After circumventing some of the problems of the original code, we found poor results when applying it to the HatEval contest (F1=0.45). We think this is due mainly to inconsistencies in the data of this contest. Finally, for the OffensEval the classifier performed well (F1=0.74), proving to have a better performance for offense detection than for hate speech.


Merging Datasets for Aggressive Text Identification
Paula Fortuna | José Ferreira | Luiz Pires | Guilherme Routar | Sérgio Nunes
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Trolling, Aggression and Cyberbullying (TRAC-2018)

This paper presents the approach of the team “groutar” to the shared task on Aggression Identification, considering the test sets in English, both from Facebook and general Social Media. This experiment aims to test the effect of merging new datasets in the performance of classification models. We followed a standard machine learning approach with training, validation, and testing phases, and considered features such as part-of-speech, frequencies of insults, punctuation, sentiment, and capitalization. In terms of algorithms, we experimented with Boosted Logistic Regression, Multi-Layer Perceptron, Parallel Random Forest and eXtreme Gradient Boosting. One question appearing was how to merge datasets using different classification systems (e.g. aggression vs. toxicity). Other issue concerns the possibility to generalize models and apply them to data from different social networks. Regarding these, we merged two datasets, and the results showed that training with similar data is an advantage in the classification of social networks data. However, adding data from different platforms, allowed slightly better results in both Facebook and Social Media, indicating that more generalized models can be an advantage.