Social media is a vital means for information-sharing due to its easy access, low cost, and fast dissemination characteristics. However, increases in social media usage have corresponded with a rise in the prevalence of cyberbullying. Most existing cyberbullying detection methods aresupervised and, thus, have two key drawbacks: (1) The data labeling process is often time-consuming and labor-intensive; (2) Current labeling guidelines may not be generalized to future instances because of different language usage and evolving social networks. To address these limitations, this work introduces a principled approach forunsupervised cyberbullying detection. The proposed model consists of two main components: (1) Arepresentation learning network that encodes the social media session by exploiting multi-modal features, e.g., text, network, and time. (2) Amulti-task learning network that simultaneously fits the comment inter-arrival times and estimates the bullying likelihood based on a Gaussian Mixture Model. The proposed model jointly optimizes the parameters of both components to overcome the shortcomings of decoupled training. Our core contribution is an unsupervised cyberbullying detection model that not only experimentally outperforms the state-of-the-art unsupervised models, but also achieves competitive performance compared to supervised models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCIKM 2020 - Proceedings of the 29th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450368599
StatePublished - Oct 19 2020
Event29th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM 2020 - Virtual, Online, Ireland
Duration: Oct 19 2020Oct 23 2020

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, Proceedings


Conference29th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM 2020
CityVirtual, Online


  • Gaussian mixture model
  • cyberbullying detection
  • representation learning
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • General Decision Sciences


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