AAAI Publications, Tenth International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media

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Identifying Rhetorical Questions in Social Media
Suhas Ranganath, Xia Hu, Jiliang Tang, Suhang Wang, Huan Liu

Last modified: 2016-03-31


Social media provides a platform for seeking information from a large user base. Information seeking in social media, however, occurs simultaneously with users expressing their viewpoints by making statements. Rhetorical questions have the form of a question but serve the function of a statement and might mislead platforms assisting information seeking in social media. It becomes difficult to identify rhetorical questions as they are not syntactically different from other questions. In this paper, we develop a framework to identify rhetorical questions by modeling the motivations of the users to post them. We focus on one motivation of the users drawing from linguistic theories, to implicitly convey a message. We develop a framework from this motivation to identify rhetorical questions in social media and evaluate the framework using questions posted on Twitter. This is the first framework to model the motivations for posting rhetorical questions to identify them on social media platforms.

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