Workshop Proceedings of the 16th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media

DOI: 10.36190/2022.81

Published: 2022-06-01
Characterizing Anti-Asian Rhetoric During The COVID-19 Pandemic: A Sentiment Analysis Case Study on Twitter
Ramya Tekumalla, Zia Baig, Michelle Pan, Luis Alberto Robles Hernandez, Michael Wang, Juan Banda

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown a measurable increase in the usage of sinophobic comments or terms on online social media platforms. In the United States, Asian Americans have been primarily targeted by violence and hate speech stemming from negative sentiments about the origins of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus. While most published research focuses on extracting these sentiments from social media data, it does not connect the specific news events during the pandemic with changes in negative sentiment on social media platforms. In this work we combine and enhance publicly available resources with our own manually annotated set of tweets to create machine learning classification models to characterize the sinophobic behavior. We then applied our classifier to a pre-filtered longitudinal dataset spanning two years of pandemic related tweets and overlay our findings with relevant news events.