TotalDefMeme: A Multi-Attribute Meme dataset on Total Defence in Singapore

by   Nirmalendu Prakash, et al.

Total Defence is a defence policy combining and extending the concept of military defence and civil defence. While several countries have adopted total defence as their defence policy, very few studies have investigated its effectiveness. With the rapid proliferation of social media and digitalisation, many social studies have been focused on investigating policy effectiveness through specially curated surveys and questionnaires either through digital media or traditional forms. However, such references may not truly reflect the underlying sentiments about the target policies or initiatives of interest. People are more likely to express their sentiment using communication mediums such as starting topic thread on forums or sharing memes on social media. Using Singapore as a case reference, this study aims to address this research gap by proposing TotalDefMeme, a large-scale multi-modal and multi-attribute meme dataset that captures public sentiments toward Singapore's Total Defence policy. Besides supporting social informatics and public policy analysis of the Total Defence policy, TotalDefMeme can also support many downstream multi-modal machine learning tasks, such as aspect-based stance classification and multi-modal meme clustering. We perform baseline machine learning experiments on TotalDefMeme and evaluate its technical validity, and present possible future interdisciplinary research directions and application scenarios using the dataset as a baseline.


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