Classification of Moral Foundations in Microblog Political Discourse

Kristen Johnson, Dan Goldwasser

Previous works in computer science, as well as political and social science, have shown correlation in text between political ideologies and the moral foundations expressed within that text. Additional work has shown that policy frames, which are used by politicians to bias the public towards their stance on an issue, are also correlated with political ideology. Based on these associations, this work takes a first step towards modeling both the language and how politicians frame issues on Twitter, in order to predict the moral foundations that are used by politicians to express their stances on issues. The contributions of this work includes a dataset annotated for the moral foundations, annotation guidelines, and probabilistic graphical models which show the usefulness of jointly modeling abstract political slogans, as opposed to the unigrams of previous works, with policy frames for the prediction of the morality underlying political tweets.