Blog

  • In the News: Online Abuse of Politicians, BBC
    We've been working together with the BBC to bring public attention to the issue of online abuse against politicians. Rising tensions in Q1 and Q2 of 2019 meant that politicians were seeing more verbal abuse on Twitter than we have previously observed. The findings were presented on the 6 o'clock… Read more »
  • GATE Cloud services for Google Sheets featured in the CLARIN Newsflash
    CLARIN ERIC is a research infrastructure through Europe and beyond to encourage the sharing and sustainability of language data and tools for research in the humanities and social sciences.  We are pleased to announce that our functions for text analysis in Google Sheets were featured in the July 2019 issue of the CLARIN… Read more »
  • GATE Cloud services for Google Sheets
    Spreadsheets are an increasingly popular way of storing all kinds of information, including text, and giving it some informal structure, and systems like Google Sheets are especially popular for collaborative work and sharing data.In response to the demand for standard natural language processing (NLP) tasks in spreadsheets, we have developed… Read more »
  • Using GATE to drive robots at Headstart 2019
    In collaboration with Headstart (a charitable trust that provides hands-on science, engineering and maths taster courses), the Department of Computer Science has just run its fourth annual summer school for maths and science A-level students. This residential course ran from 8 to 12 July 2019 and included practical work in computer… Read more »
  • 12th GATE Summer School (17-21 June 2019)
    12th GATE Training Course: open-source natural language processing with an emphasis on social mediaFor over a decade, the GATE team has provided an annual course in using our technology. The course content and track options have changed a bit over the years, but it always includes material to help novices… Read more »
  • Toxic Online Discussions during the UK European Parliament Election Campaign
    The Brexit Party attracted the most engagement on Twitter in the run-up to the UK European Parliament election on May 23rd, their candidates receiving as many tweets as all the other parties combined. Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage was the most interacted-with UK candidate on Twitter, with over twice as… Read more »
  • WeVerify: Algorithm-Supported Verification of Digital Content
    Announcing WeVerify: a new project developing AI-based tools for computer-supported digital content verification. The WeVerify platform will provide an independent and community driven environment for the verification of online content, to be used to assist journalists in gathering and verifying quickly online content. Prof. Kalina Bontcheva will be serving as… Read more »
  • GATE and JSON: Now Supporting 280 Character Tweets!
    We first added support for reading tweets stored as JSON objects to GATE in version 8, all the way back in 2014. This support has proved exceptionally useful both internally to help our own research but also to the many researchers outside of Sheffield who use GATE for analysing Twitter… Read more »
  • Students use GATE and Twitter to drive Lego robots—again!
    At the university's Headstart Summer School in July 2018, 42 secondary school students (age 16 and 17) from all over the UK (see below for maps) were taught to write Java programs to control Lego robots, using input from the robots (such as the sensor for detecting coloured marks on the… Read more »
  • 3rd International Workshop on Rumours and Deception in Social Media (RDSM)
    June 11, 2019 in Munich, GermanyCollocated with ICWSM'2019AbstractThe 3rd edition of the RDSM workshop will particularly focus on online information disorder and its interplay with public opinion formation.Social media is a valuable resource for mining all kind of information varying from opinions to factual information. However, social media houses issues… Read more »
  • Coming Up: 12th GATE Summer School 17-21 June 2019
    It is approaching that time of the year again! The GATE training course will be held from 17-21 June 2019 at the University of Sheffield, UK.No previous experience or programming expertise is necessary, so it's suitable for anyone with an interest in text mining and using GATE, including people from… Read more »
  • Open Call for SoBigData-funded Transnational Access!
    The SoBigData project invites researchers and professionals to apply to participate in Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) to carry forward their own big data projects. The Natural Language Processing (NLP) group at the University of Sheffield are taking part in this initiative and invite all applications.Funding is available for STSMs (2… Read more »
  • Russian Troll Factory: Sketches of a Propaganda Campaign
    When Twitter shared a large archive of propaganda tweets late in 2018 we were excited to get access to over 9 million tweets from almost 4 thousand unique Twitter accounts controlled by Russia's Internet Research Agency. The tweets are posted in 57 different languages, but most are in Russian (53.68%)… Read more »
  • Brexit--The Regional Divide
    Referendum resultAlthough the UK voted by a narrow margin in the UK EU membership referendum in 2016 to leave the EU, that outcome failed to capture the diverse feelings held in various regions. It's a curious observation that the UK regions with the most economic dependence on the EU were… Read more »
  • GATE team wins first prize in the Hyperpartisan News Detection Challenge
    SemEval 2019 recently launched the Hyperpartisan News Detection Task in order to evaluate how well tools could automatically classify hyperpartisan news texts. The idea behind this is that "given a news text, the system must decide whether it follows a hyperpartisan argumentation, i.e. whether it exhibits blind, prejudiced, or unreasoning… Read more »
  • Teaching computers to understand the sentiment of tweets
    As part of the EU SoBigData project, the GATE team hosts a number of short research visits, between 2 weeks and 2 months, for all kinds of data scientists (PhD students, researchers, academics, professionals) to come and work with us and to use our tools and/or datasets on a project involving text mining… Read more »
  • Vizualisations of Political Hate Speech on Twitter
    Recently there's been some media interest in our work on abuse toward politicians. We performed an analysis of abusive replies on Twitter sent to MPs and candidates in the months leading up to the 2015 and 2017 UK elections, disaggregated by gender, political party, year, and geographical area, amongst other… Read more »
  • What matters most to people around the world? Using the GATE social media toolkit to investigate wellbeing.
    As part of the EU SoBigData project, the GATE team hosts a number of short research visits, between 2 weeks and 2 months, for all kinds of data scientists (PhD students, researchers,  academics, professionals) to come and work with us and use our tools and/or datasets on a project involving… Read more »
  • Discerning Truth in the Age of Ubiquitous Disinformation (4): Russian Involvement in the Referendum and the Impact of Social Media Misinformation on Voting Behaviour
    Discerning Truth in the Age of Ubiquitous Disinformation (4)Russian Involvement in the Referendum and the Impact of Social Media Misinformation on Voting Behaviour Kalina Bontcheva (@kbontcheva)In my previous blog posts I wrote about the 4Ps of the modern disinformation age: post-truth politics, online propaganda, polarised crowds,  and partisan media; and… Read more »
  • Discerning Truth in the Age of Ubiquitous Disinformation (5): Impact of Russia-linked Misinformation vs Impact of False Claims Made By Politicians During the Referendum Campaign
    Discerning Truth in the Age of Ubiquitous Disinformation (5)Impact of Russia-linked Misinformation vs Impact of False Claims Made By Politicians During the Referendum CampaignKalina Bontcheva (@kbontcheva)My previous post focuses mainly on the impact of misinformation from Russian Twitter accounts.  However it is important to also acknowledge the impact of false… Read more »
  • Funded PhD Opportunity: Large Scale Analysis of Online Disinformation in Political Debates
    Applications are invited for an EPSRC-funded studentship at The University of Sheffield commencing on 1 October 2018. The PhD project will examine the intersection of online political debates and misinformation, through big data analysis. This research is very timely, because online mis- and disinformation is reinforcing the formation of polarised… Read more »
  • Discerning Truth in the Age of Ubiquitous Disinformation (3): The Role of News Media
    Discerning Truth in the Age of Ubiquitous Disinformation (3)The Role of News MediaKalina Bontcheva (@kbontcheva)Post coming soon Read more »
  • Discerning Truth in the Age of Ubiquitous Disinformation (2)How Can We Combat Online DisinformationKalina Bontcheva (@kbontcheva)In my previous blog post I wrote about the 4Ps of the modern disinformation age: post-truth politics, online propaganda, polarised crowds,  and partisan media. Now, let me reflect some more on the question of what can we… Read more »
  • Students use GATE and Twitter to drive Lego robots
    At the university's Headstart Summer School in July 2017, 42 students (age 16 and 17) from all over the UK were taught to write Java programs to control Lego robots, using input from the robots (such as the sensor for detecting coloured marks on the floor) as well as operating… Read more »
  • The Tools Behind Our Brexit Analyser
    UPDATE (13 December, 2016): Try the Brexit Analyzer We have now made parts of the Brexit Analyzer available as a web service. You can try the topic detection by putting an example tweet here (choose mentions of political topics):https://cloud.gate.ac.uk/shopfront/sampleServices A more extensive test of the outputs (also including hashtags, voting intent, @mention, and… Read more »
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