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Del Vigna, F., Cimino, A., Dell’Orletta, F., Petrocchi, M., & Tesconi, M. (2017). Hate me, hate me not: Hate speech detection on Facebook.

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While favouring communications and easing information sharing, Social Network Sites are also used to launch harmful campaigns against specific groups and individuals. Cyberbullism, incitement to self-harm practices, sexual predation are just some of the severe effects of massive online offensives. Moreover, attacks can be carried out against groups of victims and can degenerate in physical violence. In this work, we aim at containing and preventing the alarming diffusion of such hate campaigns. Using Facebook as a benchmark, we consider the textual content of comments appeared on a set of public Italian pages. We first propose a variety of hate categories to distinguish the kind of hate. Crawled comments are then annotated by up to five distinct human annotators, according to the defined taxonomy. Leveraging morpho-syntactical features, sentiment polarity and word embedding lexicons, we design and implement two classifiers for the Italian language, based on different learning algorithms: the first based on Support Vector Machines (SVM) and the second on a particular Recurrent Neural Network named Long Short Term Memory (LSTM). We test these two learning algorithms in order to verify their classification performances on the task of hate speech recognition. The results show the effectiveness of the two classification approaches tested over the first manually annotated Italian Hate Speech Corpus of social media text.