Are words commensurate with actions? Quantifying commitment to a cause from online public messaging

Zhao Wang, Jennifer Cutler, Aron Culotta

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

Abstract

Public entities such as companies and politicians increasingly use online social networks to communicate directly with their constituencies. Often, this public messaging is aimed at aligning the entity with a particular cause or issue, such as the environment or public health. However, as a consumer or voter, it can be difficult to assess an entity's true commitment to a cause based on public messaging. In this paper, we present a text classification approach to categorize a message according to its commitment level toward a cause. We then compare the volume of such messages with external ratings based on entities' actions (e.g., a politician's voting record with respect to the environment or a company's rating from environmental non-profits). We find that by distinguishing between low- and high- level commitment messages, we can more reliably identify truly committed entities. Furthermore, by measuring the discrepancy between classified messages and external ratings, we can identify entities whose public messaging does not align with their actions, thereby providing a methodology to identify potentially 'inauthentic' messaging campaigns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceeding - 17th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshops, ICDMW 2017
EditorsRaju Gottumukkala, George Karypis, Vijay Raghavan, Xindong Wu, Lucio Miele, Srinivas Aluru, Xia Ning, Guozhu Dong
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages1050-1057
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781538614808
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2017
Event17th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshops, ICDMW 2017 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Nov 18 2017Nov 21 2017

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshops, ICDMW
Volume2017-November
ISSN (Print)2375-9232
ISSN (Electronic)2375-9259

Other

Other17th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshops, ICDMW 2017
CountryUnited States
CityNew Orleans
Period11/18/1711/21/17

Keywords

  • Cause
  • Commitment
  • Public messaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Software

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