Automatic Detection of Satire in Twitter: A psycholinguistic-based approach

María del Pilar Salas-Zárate, Mario Andrés Paredes-Valverde, Miguel Angel Rodriguez-Garcia, Rafael Valencia-García, Giner Alor-Hernández

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


In recent years, a substantial effort has been made to develop sophisticated methods that can be used to detect figurative language, and more specifically, irony and sarcasm. There is, however, an absence of new approaches and research works that analyze satirical texts. The recognition of satire by sentiment analysis and Natural Language Processing (NLP) applications is extremely important because it can influence and change the meaning of a statement in varied and complex ways. We used this understanding as a basis to propose a method that employs a wide variety of psycholinguistic features and which detects satirical and non-satirical text. We then went on to train a set of machine learning algorithms that would enable us to classify unknown data. Finally, we conducted several experiments in order to detect the most relevant features that generate a better pattern as regards detecting satirical texts. We evaluated the effectiveness of our method by obtaining a corpus of satirical and non-satirical news from Mexican and Spanish twitter accounts. Our proposal obtained encouraging results, with an F-measure of 85.5% for Mexico and one of 84.0% for Spain. Moreover, the results of the experiment showed that there is no significant difference between Mexican and Spanish satire.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-33
Number of pages14
JournalKnowledge-Based Systems
StatePublished - Apr 24 2017

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work has been supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and the European Commission (FEDER / ERDF) through project KBS4FIA (TIN2016-76323-R).María del Pilar Salas-Zárate and Mario Andrés Paredes-Valverde are supported by the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) and the Mexican government.This work was also supported by Tecnológico Nacional de Mexico (TecNM) and Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) through PRODEP (Programa para el Desarrollo Profesional Docente, in Spanish).


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