Beyond Denouncing Hate: Strategies for Countering Implied Biases and Stereotypes in Language

Jimin Mun, Emily Allaway, Akhila Yerukola, Laura Vianna, Sarah Jane Leslie, Maarten Sap

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Counterspeech, i.e., responses to counteract potential harms of hateful speech, has become an increasingly popular solution to address online hate speech without censorship. However, properly countering hateful language requires countering and dispelling the underlying inaccurate stereotypes implied by such language. In this work, we draw from psychology and philosophy literature to craft six psychologically inspired strategies to challenge the underlying stereotypical implications of hateful language. We first examine the convincingness of each of these strategies through a user study, and then compare their usages in both human- and machine-generated counterspeech datasets. Our results show that human-written counterspeech uses countering strategies that are more specific to the implied stereotype (e.g., counter examples to the stereotype, external factors about the stereotype's origins), whereas machine-generated counterspeech uses less specific strategies (e.g., generally denouncing the hatefulness of speech). Furthermore, machine-generated counterspeech often employs strategies that humans deem less convincing compared to human-produced counterspeech. Our findings point to the importance of accounting for the underlying stereotypical implications of speech when generating counterspeech and for better machine reasoning about anti-stereotypical examples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFindings of the Association for Computational Linguistics
Subtitle of host publicationEMNLP 2023
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages9759-9777
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9798891760615
StatePublished - 2023
Event2023 Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: Dec 6 2023Dec 10 2023

Publication series

NameFindings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Conference

Conference2023 Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023
Country/TerritorySingapore
CitySingapore
Period12/6/2312/10/23

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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