Constructive Language in News Comments

Published in Proceedings of the First Workshop on Abusive Language Online, 2017

Recommended citation: Constructive Language in News Comments. In Proceedings of the First Workshop on Abusive Language Online. Association for Computational Linguistics, Vancouver, BC, Canada, pages 11-17.

We discuss the characteristics of constructive news comments, and present methods to identify them. First, we define the notion of constructiveness. Second, we annotate a corpus for constructiveness. Third, we explore whether available argumentation corpora can be useful to identify constructiveness in news comments. Our model trained on argumentation corpora achieves a top accuracy of 72.59% (baseline=49.44%) on our crowd-annotated test data. Finally, we examine the relation between constructiveness and toxicity. In our crowd-annotated data, 21.42% of the non-constructive comments and 17.89% of the constructive comments are toxic, suggesting that non-constructive comments are not much more toxic than constructive comments.

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