Your Stance is Exposed! Analysing Possible Factors for Stance Detection on Social Media

Abeer Aldayel, Walid Magdy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To what extent user’s stance towards a given topic could be inferred? Most of the studies on stance detection have focused on analysing user’s posts on a given topic to predict the stance. However, the stance in social media can be inferred from a mixture of signals that might reflect user’s beliefs including posts and online interactions. This paper examines various online features of users to detect their stance towards different topics. We compare multiple set of features, including on-topic content, network interactions, user’s preferences, and online network connections. Our objective is to understand the online signals that can reveal the users’ stance.Experimentation is applied on tweets dataset from the SemEval stance detection task, which covers five topics. Results show that stance of a user can be detected with multiple signals of user’s online activity, including their posts on the topic, the network they interact with or follow, the websites they visit, and the content they like. The performance of the stance modelling using different network features are comparable with the state-of-the-art reported model that used textual content only. In addition, combining network and content features leads to the highest reported performance to date on the SemEval dataset with F-measure of 72.49%.

We further present an extensive analysis to show how these different set of features can reveal stance. Our findings have distinct privacy implications, where they highlight that stance is strongly embedded in user’s online social network that, in principle, individuals can be profiled from their interactions and connections even when they do not post about the topic.
Original languageEnglish
Article number205
Number of pages20
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCSCW
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2019
EventThe 22nd ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing - Hilton Hotel, Austin, Austin, United States
Duration: 9 Nov 201913 Nov 2019
Conference number: 22


  • Social Media
  • Opinion mining
  • Stance detection


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