Linguistic Patterns for Code Word Resilient Hate Speech Identification

The permanent transition to online activity has brought with it a surge in hate speech discourse. This has prompted increased calls for automatic detection methods, most of which currently rely on a dictionary of hate speech words, and supervised classification. This approach often falls short when dealing with newer words and phrases produced by online extremist communities. These code words are used with the aim of evading automatic detection by systems. Code words are frequently used and have benign meanings in regular discourse, for instance, “skypes, googles, bing, yahoos” are all examples of words that have a hidden hate speech meaning. Such overlap presents a challenge to the traditional keyword approach of collecting data that is specific to hate speech. In this work, we first introduced a word embedding model that learns the hidden hate speech meaning of words. With this insight on code words, we developed a classifier that leverages linguistic patterns to reduce the impact of individual words. The proposed method was evaluated across three different datasets to test its generalizability. The empirical results show that the linguistic patterns approach outperforms the baselines and enables further analysis on hate speech expressions.

Tags: Hate Speech, linguistic patterns, Social Media