The paper “Hybrid Emoji-Based Masked Language Models for Zero-Shot Abusive Language Detection” authored by Michele Corazza, Stefano Menini, Elena Cabrio, Sara Tonelli and Serena Villata has been accepted to be included in Findings of EMNLP 2020. It will be also presented orally at the 4th Workshop on Online abuse and Harm, which will take place virtually November 20th 2020.
Recent studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of cross-lingual language model pre training on different NLP tasks, such as natural language inference and machine translation. In our work, we test this approach on social media data, which are particularly challenging to process within this framework, since the limited length of the textual messages and the irregularity of the language make it harder to learn meaningful encodings. More specifically, we propose a hybrid emoji-based Masked Language Model (MLM) to leverage the common information conveyed by emojis across different languages and improve the learned cross-lingual representation of short text messages, with the goal to perform zero-shot abusive language detection. We compare the results obtained with the original MLM to the ones obtained by our method, showing improved performance on German, Italian and Spanish.