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CS4OA 2023 : 1st Workshop on Counter Speech for Online Abuse


When Sep 11, 2023 - Sep 12, 2023
Where Prague, Czechia
Submission Deadline Jun 23, 2023
Notification Due Jul 17, 2023
Final Version Due Aug 11, 2023
Categories    NLP   artificial intelligence

Call For Papers

The 1st Workshop on Counter Speech for Online Abuse:

A workshop for creating, investigating and improving tools for producing and evaluating counter speech.

Hate speech and abusive and toxic language are prevalent in online spaces. For example, a 2019 survey shows that in the UK 30-40% of people have experienced online abuse, and platforms like Facebook bring down millions of harmful posts every year, with the help of AI tools. While removal of such content can immediately reduce the quantity of harmful messages, it can bring about accusations of censorship and may not be effective at curbing hate in the long term. An alternative approach is to reply with counter speech, i.e. targeted responses aimed at refuting the hateful language using thoughtful and cogent reasons, and fact-bound arguments. This has been shown to be effective in influencing the behaviour of both the perpetrators of abuse and bystanders that witness the interactions, as well as providing support to victims.

The sheer amount of social media data shared online on a daily basis means that hate mitigation, using counter speech, requires reliable, efficient and scalable tools. Recently, efforts have been made to curate hate countering datasets and automate the production of counter speech. However, this research field is still in its infancy, and many questions remain open regarding the most effective approaches and methods to take, as well as how to evaluate them.

This first multidisciplinary workshop aims to bring together researchers from diverse backgrounds such as computer science and the social sciences, as well as policy makers and other stakeholders to attempt to understand how counter speech is currently used to tackle abuse by individuals, activists and organisations, how Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Generation (NLG) can be applied to produce counter narratives, and the implications of using large language models for this task. It will also address, but not be limited to, the questions of how to evaluate and measure the impacts of counter speech, the importance of expert knowledge from civil society in the development of counter speech datasets and taxonomies, and how to ensure fairness and mitigate the biases present in language models when generating counter speech.


We invite papers (long and short) on a wide range of topics, including but not limited to:

• Models and methods for generating counter speech;

• Dialogue agents employing counter speech to address hateful inputs, directed towards other people or the AI itself;

• Human and automatic evaluation methods of counter speech tools;

• Multidisciplinary studies including different perspectives on the topic such as from computer science, social science, NGOs and stakeholders;

• Development of datasets and taxonomy for counter speech;

• Potentials and limitations (e.g., fairness, biases) of using large language models for generating counter speech;

• Social impact and empirical studies of counter speech on social media, including investigating the effectiveness and consequences on users of employing counter speech to fight online hate

• Proposals for future research on counter speech, and/or preliminary results of studies in this field

We accept three types of submissions:

Regular research papers – long (8 pages) or short (4 pages);

Non-archival submissions: like research papers, but will not be included in the proceedings;

Research communications: 2-4 page abstracts summarising relevant research published elsewhere.

Submission link: Coming soon!

Location: co-located with SIGdialxINLG, Prague, Czechia

Important dates

All deadlines are Anywhere on Earth (UTC-12)

Submission deadline: Jun 26, 2023

Notification of acceptance Jul 17, 2023

Camera-ready deadline Aug 11, 2023

Workshop date: September 11/12 2023

Format and Styling

Submissions should follow ACL Author Guidelines and policies for submission, review and citation, and be anonymised for double blind reviewing. Please use ACL 2023 style files; LaTeX style files and Microsoft Word templates are available at

Organising Committee:

Yi-Ling Chung, The Alan Turing Institute

Gavin Abercrombie, Heriot-Watt University

Helena Bonaldi, Fondazione Bruno Kessler

Marco Guerini, Fondazione Bruno Kessler


If you have any questions, please let us know at

Twitter: @cs4oa_workshop

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