Call For Papers

Motivation

The modern media ecosystem in which the public seeks truthful information and trustworthy sources is increasingly dominated by large-scale online social media and communication platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) as well as messaging apps, which operate alongside traditional news sources. However, online platforms are facing significant challenges in this regard, as the majority of the public mistrusts the content shared on them and only 50% trust any kind of online news (Digital News Report 2018). The quest to improve the online media ecosystem remains important and is in need of concerted research. Manual efforts cannot scale to the demand, and many proposed automated solutions for content moderation and verification, including those presented in existing academic venues (e.g. FEVER, RDSM, POC, etc.) are detached from real-world needs faced by the users and the operators of these platforms.

Research in this area is currently disseminated in two main avenues: 1) technical workshops attached to conferences of different communities (e.g., WWW, KDD, ICWSM, ACL, NIPS, etc.); 2) hybrid community gatherings such as MisinfoCon. The latter brings journalists, social scientists, and technical entrepreneurs together, but is more focused on sharing the latest findings instead of being a platform for publishing original research. The former encourages the presentation of original research, but suffers from fragmentation across different academic disciplines. We believe it is time to bring the best from both avenues and foster a technical community in this space focusing on publishing and disseminating original research while also considering real world scenarios and impact.

The mission of the Conference on Truth and Trust Online (TTO) is to bring together all parties working on automated approaches to augment manual efforts on improving the truthfulness and trustworthiness of online communications. TTO aims to be an annual forum for academia, industry, non-profit organizations and other stakeholders to meet and discuss the problems facing social media platforms and technical solutions to them. Key to this interaction is the openness on behalf of the media platforms about their problems and the focus of the academic proposals to address them in an impactful way. The intended outcomes of our conference are: a) for academics to learn about the real problems that industry is facing and how their proposed solutions can be more impactful; b) for industry to improve their product safety by brainstorming collective actions together with other stakeholders; and c) for the public to gain insights into how their concerns on social media safety are being addressed.

We have the following invited speakers (with more to be announced when confirmed):

  • Judy King (BBC)
  • Jerome Pesenti (VP of Artificial Intelligence, Facebook)
  • Preslav Nakov (Qatar Computing Research Institute)
  • Justine Roberts (Founder, Mumsnet)
  • Kate Starbird (University of Washington)
  • Rebekah Tromble (University of Leiden)
  • Tom Stafford (University of Sheffield)
  • Kate Starbird (University of Washington)

Submissions

We invite submissions on technical solutions for addressing current challenges facing social media platforms on the following indicative list of topics:

  • Misinformation
  • Disinformation
  • Hate speech
  • Harassment/bullying
  • Credibility scores
  • Hyper-partisanship and bias
  • Image/video verification
  • Fake amplification
  • Fake reviews
  • Polarization and echo chambers
  • Transparency in content and source moderation
  • Privacy requirements

The focus of the conference is on identifying what new problems and technical solutions we need to work on, rather than incremental solutions to what we are doing already.

Therefore papers that only aim to raise awareness, or propose improved methods on existing tasks/datasets, without showing how these could be used to solve real world problems as the one indicated above are explicitly discouraged.

We invite three types of submissions: technical papers, talk proposals and dataset proposals:

  • Technical papers should contain novel, previously unpublished material related to the topics of the conference and should be limited to 8 pages with unlimited pages for references. The papers accepted will be presented either orally in single track sessions or as posters.
  • Talk proposals should be 2 pages long and describe the content of a half-hour long talk giving a tutorial-style overview of academic work on a certain topic, or present hands-on experience from addressing the TTO challenges in the real world.
  • Dataset proposals should be 2 pages long and propose the annotation of a dataset of publicly available data. A clear analysis of the copyrights, respect of privacy and data availability must be given. The size of the datasets to be built will depend on the difficulty of the task. The selected papers will be invited to refine their proposal to receive funding in a separate Request for Proposal.

Each submission will be judged by at least two program committee members. We will be accepting submissions online via EasyChair. Technical papers need to follow the provided TTO template which is also available in Overleaf. Talk and dataset proposals are welcome to also use this template although this is not necessary. Proposals that do not follow the template should be up to two sides of A4 and use Times New Roman Font 11pt. Accepted papers will be published in archival proceedings and the authors will be asked to submit to a special journal issue. The details of the journal will be announced within three months of the conference.

Key dates

  • 1st call for papers: 2nd of April 2019 (International Fact Checking day)
  • Deadline for all submissions: 3rd of June 2019 (23:59, anywhere on earth)
  • Notification of acceptance: early July
  • Registration opens: end of June
  • Conference: 4th and 5th of October 2019, BMA House, London, UK

Participation

We encourage wide participation from all interested parties and stakeholders on online media, including academics, startups and large industry, non-profit organizations and governmental institutions. For participants requiring financial assistance a separate application form will be made available after the notifications are sent.

Organization

Program Chairs: Maria Liakata (University of Warwick) and Andreas Vlachos (University of Cambridge)
Local Organization: Guillaume Bouchard (Facebook), Simon Martin (Mumsnet), Marzieh Saeidi (Facebook)
Publications Chair: Kalina Bontcheva (University of Sheffield)
Publicity Chair: Mevan Babakar (Full Fact), David Corney (Full Fact)
Area Chairs: Emiliano De Cristofaro (University College London), Ferenc Huszar (Twitter), Sebastian Riedel (Facebook and University College London), Cong Yu (Google)
Sponsorship Chairs: Arpit Mittal (Amazon), Miriam Redi (Wikimedia Foundation)