Free speech or Free Hate Speech? Analyzing the Proliferation of Hate Speech in Parler

Abraham Israeli, Oren Tsur

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Social platforms such as Gab and Parler, branded as ‘free-speech’ networks, have seen a significant growth of their user base in recent years. This popularity is mainly attributed to the stricter moderation enforced by mainstream platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit. In this work we provide the first large scale analysis of hate-speech on Parler. We experiment with an array of algorithms for hate-speech detection, demonstrating the limitations of transfer learning in that domain, given the illusive and ever changing nature of the ways hate-speech is delivered. In order to improve classification accuracy we annotated 10K Parler posts, which we use to fine-tune a BERT classifier. Classification of individual posts is then leveraged for the classification of millions of users via label propagation over the social network. Classifying users by their propensity to disseminate hate, we find that hate mongers make about 16% of Parler active users, and that they have distinct characteristics comparing to other user groups. We find that hate mongers are more active, more central, express distinct levels of sentiment, and convey a distinct array of emotions like anger and sadness. We further complement our analysis by comparing the trends observed in Parler to those found in Gab. To the best of our knowledge, this is among the first works to analyze hate speech in Parler in a quantitative manner and on the user level.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationWOAH 2022 - 6th Workshop on Online Abuse and Harms, Proceedings of the Workshop
EditorsKanika Narang, Aida Mostafazadeh Davani, Lambert Mathias, Bertie Vidgen, Zeerak Talat
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages109-121
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781955917841
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022
Event6th Workshop on Online Abuse and Harms, WOAH 2022 - Seattle, United States
Duration: 14 Jul 2022 → …

Publication series

NameWOAH 2022 - 6th Workshop on Online Abuse and Harms, Proceedings of the Workshop

Conference

Conference6th Workshop on Online Abuse and Harms, WOAH 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySeattle
Period14/07/22 → …

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Linguistics and Language

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Free speech or Free Hate Speech? Analyzing the Proliferation of Hate Speech in Parler'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this