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  1. One of the main challenges online social systems face is the prevalence of antisocial behavior, such as harassment and personal attacks. In this work, we introduce the task of predicting from the very start of a conversation whether it will get out of hand. As opposed to detecting undesirable behavior after the fact, this task aims to enable early, actionable prediction at a time when the conversation might still be salvaged. To this end, we develop a framework for capturing pragmatic devices---such as politeness strategies and rhetorical prompts---used to start a conversation, and analyze their relation to its future trajectory. Applying this framework in a controlled setting, we demonstrate the feasibility of detecting early warning signs of antisocial behavior in online discussions. 
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  2. We present a corpus that encompasses the complete history of conversations between contributors to Wikipedia, one of the largest online collaborative communities. By recording the intermediate states of conversations—including not only comments and replies, but also their modifications, deletions and restorations—this data offers an unprecedented view of online conversation. This level of detail supports new research questions pertaining to the process (and challenges) of large-scale online collaboration. We illustrate the corpus’ potential with two case studies that highlight new perspectives on earlier work. First, we explore how a person’s conversational behavior depends on how they relate to the discussion’s venue. Second, we show that community moderation of toxic behavior happens at a higher rate than previously estimated. Finally the reconstruction framework is designed to be language agnostic, and we show that it can extract high quality conversational data in both Chinese and English. 
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  3. One of the main challenges online social systems face is the prevalence of antisocial behavior, such as harassment and personal attacks. In this work, we introduce the task of predicting from the very start of a conversation whether it will get out of hand. As opposed to detecting undesirable behavior after the fact, this task aims to enable early, actionable prediction at a time when the conversation might still be salvaged. To this end, we develop a framework for capturing pragmatic devices---such as politeness strategies and rhetorical prompts---used to start a conversation, and analyze their relation to its future trajectory. Applying this framework in a controlled setting, we demonstrate the feasibility of detecting early warning signs of antisocial behavior in online discussions. 
    more » « less