Study finds racial bias in tweets flagged as hate speech

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Tweets believed to be written by African Americans are much more likely to be tagged as hate speech than tweets associated with whites, according to a Cornell study analyzing five collections of Twitter data marked for abusive language.

All five datasets, compiled by academics for research, showed against Twitter users believed to be African American. Although —including Twitter—probably don't use these datasets for their own hate-speech detection systems, the consistency of the results suggests that similar bias could be widespread.

"We found consistent, systematic and substantial racial biases," said Thomas Davidson, a doctoral candidate in sociology and first author of "Racial Bias in Hate Speech and Abusive Language Datasets," which was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, July 28-Aug. 2 in Florence, Italy.

"These systems are being developed to identify language that's used to target marginalized populations online," Davidson said. "It's extremely concerning if the same systems are themselves discriminating against the population they're designed to protect."

As increasingly turn to artificial intelligence to flag hateful content amid millions of posts, concern about bias in machine learning models is on the rise. Because bias often begins in the data used to train these models, the researchers sought to evaluate datasets that were created to help understand and classify hate speech.

To perform their analysis, they selected five datasets—one of which Davidson helped develop at Cornell—consisting of a combined 270,000 Twitter posts. All five had been annotated by humans to flag abusive language or hate speech.

For each dataset, the researchers trained a machine learning model to predict hateful or offensive speech.

They then used a sixth database of more than 59 million tweets, matched with and identified by location and words associated with particular demographics, in order to predict the likelihood that a tweet was written by someone of a certain race.

Though their analysis couldn't conclusively predict the race of a 's author, it classified tweets into "black-aligned" and "white-aligned," reflecting the fact that they contained language associated with either of those demographics.

In all five cases, the algorithms classified likely African American tweets as sexism, hate speech, harassment or abuse at much higher rates than those tweets believed to be written by whites—in some cases, more than twice as frequently.

The researchers believe the disparity has two causes: an oversampling of African Americans' tweets when databases are created; and inadequate training for the people annotating tweets for potential hateful content.

"When we as researchers, or the people we pay online to do crowdsourced annotation, look at these tweets and have to decide, "Is this hateful or not hateful?" we may see language written in what linguists consider African American English and be more likely to think that it's something that is offensive due to our own internal biases," Davidson said. "We want people annotating data to be aware of the nuances of online and to be very careful in what they're considering ."


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More information: Racial Bias in Hate Speech and Abusive Language Detection Datasets. arxiv.org/pdf/1905.12516.pdf
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Aug 06, 2019
How can they truly tell "black" printed speech from "white" printed speech? Have they tried reading much on websites like Imgur? The English is so appallingly bad, to the point of incomprehension, and yet the authors are frequently white or Hispanic, even Asian. Bad English has became a badge of honor among many, particularly the young and impressionable, across seemingly all races. It's a plague upon our land.

Aug 06, 2019
"In all five cases, the algorithms classified likely African American tweets as sexism, hate speech, harassment or abuse at much higher rates than those tweets believed to be written by whites—in some cases, more than twice as frequently.

"The researchers believe the disparity has two causes: an oversampling of African Americans' tweets when databases are created; and inadequate training for the people annotating tweets for potential hateful content."

... because it couldn't POSSIBLY be that blacks are on average more racist, more misogynistic, or more victimizing than whites could it?

These traits find their roots in tribalism. It could be argued that blacks are more directly connected to their tribal roots. And living as a minority would tend to reinforce the perception that they are indeed a tribe apart, and obligated to victimize outsiders.

The tribal dynamic - internal altruism in conjunction with external animosity - is the source of all bigotry.

Aug 06, 2019
Bad English has became a badge of honor
One of the first things tribes do is develop their own dialects. It reinforces the tribal identity.

Tribalism is speciation, the 'urge to diverge'.

""Primeval man", he argued, "regarded actions as good or bad solely as they obviously affected the welfare of the tribe, not of the species". Among the living tribal peoples, he added, "the virtues are practised almost exclusively in relation to the men of the same tribe" and the corresponding vices "are not regarded as crimes" if practised on other tribes" (Darwin, 1871)

Morality originates in the tribe. Whatever helps your tribe and/or hurts other tribes is moral. Whatever hurts your tribe and/or helps other tribes, is immoral.

The only way a universal morality can exist, is with the perception of a universal tribe. But it can be argued that tribes require enemies to exist; therefore, there can be no universal moral code.
Cont>

Aug 06, 2019
The first 4 commandments require belief in the tribal god, otherwise the remaining 6 cannot apply. If you dont believe in that god and worship him according to the rules, you cannot be by definition good or honest or decent or trustworthy.

And what could possibly be more bigoted than this?

Xians favorite passage:

"16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

-But it cannot be separated from what follows:

"18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed."

-IOW unbelievers are evil.

EVERY religion includes this.

Aug 06, 2019
"... Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed."

THIS part of that passage is true and is verifiable. Everyone who does evil hates the light.
Every day, the news is filled with stories of someone doing evil to others - somewhere in the world, it doesn't matter where evil is done, it is done with the intention of bringing harm and suffering to others.
But the Laws are set out in the pages of the Bible for all to read and observe. Why then are the Laws disregarded, ignored, disbelieved and the Bible itself blasphemed? Is it that humans are somehow inherently evil and cannot help themselves? Is it their preference to disobey the Laws that are readily available to be read? Do humans love evil and the Devil who loves that they love evil? Or is it that they just refuse to acknowledge the existence of Satan?

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