Constructive Language in News Comments

WS 2017  ·  Varada Kolhatkar, Maite Taboada ·

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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