COLING 2018 First Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Internet Freedom (NLP4IF)
August 20 or August 21, 2018, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Invited speakers: TBA
(Support from the US National Science Foundation allows us to offer domestic travel grants to student participants.)
According to the recent report produced by Freedom House (freedomhouse.org), an “independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world”, Internet freedom declined in 2016 for the sixth consecutive year. 67% of all Internet users live in countries where criticism of the government, military, or ruling family are subject to censorship. Social media users face unprecedented penalties, as authorities in 38 countries made arrests based on social media posts over the past year. Globally, 27% of all internet users live in countries where people have been arrested for publishing, sharing, or merely “liking” content on Facebook. Governments are increasingly going after messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram, which can spread information quickly and securely.
Various barriers exist to prevent citizens of a large number of countries to access information. Some involve infrastructural and economic barriers, others violations of user rights such as surveillance, privacy and repercussions for online speech and activities such as imprisonment, extralegal harassment or cyberattacks. Yet another area is limits on content, which involves legal regulations on content, technical filtering and blocking websites, (self-)censorship.
Large internet providers are effective monopolies, and themselves have the power to use NLP techniques to control information flow. Users are suspended or banned, sometimes without human intervention, and with little opportunity for redress. Users react to this by using coded, oblique or metaphorical language, by taking steps to conceal their identity such as the use of multiple accounts, raising questions about who the real originating author of a post actually is.
This workshop should bring together NLP researchers whose work contributes to the free flow of information on the Internet. The topics of interest include (but are not limited) to the following:
- Censorship detection: detecting deleted or edited text; detecting
blocked keywords/banned terms;
- Censorship circumvention techniques: linguistically inspired
countermeasure for Internet censorship such as keyword substitution,
expanding coverage of existing banned terms, text paraphrasing, linguistic
steganography, generating information morphs etc.;
- Detection of self-censorship;
- Identifying potentially censorable content;
- Disinformation/Misinformation detection: fake news, fake accounts,
rumor detection, etc.;
- Techniques to empirically measure Internet censorship across
- Investigations on covert linguistic communication and its limits;
- Identity and private information detection;
- Passive and targeted surveillance techniques;
- Ethics in NLP;
- “Walled gardens”, personalization and fragmentation of the online
We hope that our workshop will promote Internet freedom in countries where accessing and sharing of information are strictly controlled by censorship. -------------- next part -------------- A non-text attachment was scrubbed... Name: not available Type: text/html Size: 11050 bytes Desc: not available URL: <https://mailman.uib.no/public/corpora/attachments/20180319/17856815/attachment.txt>