Leveraging machine translation for cross-lingual fine-grained cyberbullying classification amongst pre-adolescents
Natural Language Engineering
Cyberbullying is the wilful and repeated infliction of harm on an individual using the Internet and digital technologies. Similar to face-to-face bullying, cyberbullying can be captured formally using the Routine Activities Model (RAM) whereby the potential victim and bully are brought into proximity of one another via the interaction on online social networking (OSN) platforms. Although the impact of the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) restrictions on the online presence of minors has yet to be fully
... sped, studies have reported that 44% of pre-adolescents have encountered more cyberbullying incidents during the COVID-19 lockdown. Transparency reports shared by OSN companies indicate an increased take-downs of cyberbullying-related comments, posts or content by artificially intelligen moderation tools. However, in order to efficiently and effectively detect or identify whether a social media post or comment qualifies as cyberbullying, there are a number factors based on the RAM, which must be taken into account, which includes the identification of cyberbullying roles and forms. This demands the acquisition of large amounts of fine-grained annotated data which is costly and ethically challenging to produce. In addition where fine-grained datasets do exist they may be unavailable in the target language. Manual translation is costly and expensive, however, state-of-the-art neural machine translation offers a workaround. This study presents a first of its kind experiment in leveraging machine translation to automatically translate a unique pre-adolescent cyberbullying gold standard dataset in Italian with fine-grained annotations into English for training and testing a native binary classifier for pre-adolescent cyberbullying. In addition to contributing high-quality English reference translation of the source gold standard, our experiments indicate that the performance of our target binary classifier when trained on machine-translated English output is on par with the source (Italian) classifier.