Cannot Predict Comment Volume of a News Article before (a few) Users Read It

08/14/2020
by   Lihong He, et al.
0

Many news outlets allow users to contribute comments on topics about daily world events. News articles are the seeds that spring users' interest to contribute content, i.e., comments. An article may attract an apathetic user engagement (several tens of comments) or a spontaneous fervent user engagement (thousands of comments). In this paper, we study the problem of predicting the total number of user comments a news article will receive. Our main insight is that the early dynamics of user comments contribute the most to an accurate prediction, while news article specific factors have surprisingly little influence. This appears to be an interesting and understudied phenomenon: collective social behavior at a news outlet shapes user response and may even downplay the content of an article. We compile and analyze a large number of features, both old and novel from literature. The features span a broad spectrum of facets including news article and comment contents, temporal dynamics, sentiment/linguistic features, and user behaviors. We show that the early arrival rate of comments is the best indicator of the eventual number of comments. We conduct an in-depth analysis of this feature across several dimensions, such as news outlets and news article categories. We show that the relationship between the early rate and the final number of comments as well as the prediction accuracy vary considerably across news outlets and news article categories (e.g., politics, sports, or health).

READ FULL TEXT
POST COMMENT

Comments

There are no comments yet.

Authors

page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4

05/16/2020

Measuring and Characterizing Hate Speech on News Websites

The Web has become the main source for news acquisition. At the same tim...
03/26/2020

Top Comment or Flop Comment? Predicting and Explaining User Engagement in Online News Discussions

Comment sections below online news articles enjoy growing popularity amo...
03/03/2021

Stay on Topic, Please: Aligning User Comments to the Content of a News Article

Social scientists have shown that up to 50 article have no relation to i...
12/27/2020

Analysis of Short Dwell Time in Relation to User Interest in a News Application

Dwell time has been widely used in various fields to evaluate content qu...
06/17/2016

Socially-Informed Timeline Generation for Complex Events

Existing timeline generation systems for complex events consider only in...
04/07/2018

What Makes A Research Article Newsworthy?

There has been tremendous growth in the amount of scientific literature ...
06/24/2020

XREF: Entity Linking for Chinese News Comments with Supplementary Article Reference

Automatic identification of mentioned entities in social media posts fac...
This week in AI

Get the week's most popular data science and artificial intelligence research sent straight to your inbox every Saturday.