Cannot Predict Comment Volume of a News Article before (a few) Users Read It

by   Lihong He, et al.

Many news outlets allow users to contribute comments on topics about daily world events. News articles are the seeds that spring users' interest to contribute content, i.e., comments. An article may attract an apathetic user engagement (several tens of comments) or a spontaneous fervent user engagement (thousands of comments). In this paper, we study the problem of predicting the total number of user comments a news article will receive. Our main insight is that the early dynamics of user comments contribute the most to an accurate prediction, while news article specific factors have surprisingly little influence. This appears to be an interesting and understudied phenomenon: collective social behavior at a news outlet shapes user response and may even downplay the content of an article. We compile and analyze a large number of features, both old and novel from literature. The features span a broad spectrum of facets including news article and comment contents, temporal dynamics, sentiment/linguistic features, and user behaviors. We show that the early arrival rate of comments is the best indicator of the eventual number of comments. We conduct an in-depth analysis of this feature across several dimensions, such as news outlets and news article categories. We show that the relationship between the early rate and the final number of comments as well as the prediction accuracy vary considerably across news outlets and news article categories (e.g., politics, sports, or health).


page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4


Measuring and Characterizing Hate Speech on News Websites

The Web has become the main source for news acquisition. At the same tim...

Top Comment or Flop Comment? Predicting and Explaining User Engagement in Online News Discussions

Comment sections below online news articles enjoy growing popularity amo...

Stay on Topic, Please: Aligning User Comments to the Content of a News Article

Social scientists have shown that up to 50 article have no relation to i...

Measuring the Effect of Influential Messages on Varying Personas

Predicting how a user responds to news events enables important applicat...

Analysis of Short Dwell Time in Relation to User Interest in a News Application

Dwell time has been widely used in various fields to evaluate content qu...

Socially-Informed Timeline Generation for Complex Events

Existing timeline generation systems for complex events consider only in...

Effect of Monetary Reward on Users' Individual Strategies Using Co-Evolutionary Learning

Consumer generated media (CGM), such as social networking services rely ...

Please sign up or login with your details

Forgot password? Click here to reset