This is a draft version of our Mixed Messages paper specifically for the FAT* conference on February 23-24, 2018.
This paper explains the capabilities and limitations of tools for analyzing the text of social media posts and other online content. It is intended to help policymakers understand and evaluate available tools and the potential consequences of using them to carry out government policies. This paper focuses specifically on the use of natural language processing (NLP) tools for analyzing the text of social media posts. We explain five limitations of these tools that caution against relying on them to decide who gets to speak, who gets admitted into the country, and other critical determinations. This paper concludes with recommendations for policymakers and developers, including a set of questions to guide policymakers’ evaluation of available tools.
The original report is here.