[Air-L] QDAP/Texifter Foul Language List
stuart.shulman at gmail.com
Mon Nov 30 06:55:00 PST 2009
All great questions and comments. I put my reply to Jerom below and can now
make an interim update.
My lawyer is reviewing the risk associated with release of the list, which
is 250+ items so far. A cautious person naturally avoids unintended harm
that might result from use of the list for purposes other than those stated.
I can envision sharing the list with established research labs working in
I see many indirect benefits accruing to users of software developed in
proprietary settings. I also give away powerful software for free over the
Web. Both are good models that leverage the Internet to distribute work with
innovative tools and data sets easily to many volunteers, users, or content
In this case, my new research on threat detection has both basic research
(QDAP) and commercial (Texifter) potential and the added chance of making
public figures potentially safer in a volatile political climate. I am
responding to a direct need expressed through the National Academies of
Science recent workshop for the US Secret Service and to other agency
personnel from across the federal government.
We are looking for ways to design, test and deploy useful tools that make
democracy run a little more smoothly when millions of people are
participating online. If US health care reform drives significant numbers of
people to say awful things, or if the first African American President is
just too much for some folks to bear, simple dictionaries of hate and
threats may be required to make the landscape of democracy more navigable
and civil for those who chose not to go there.
In some cases, we are talking about making it easier for law enforcement
officials to preempt aggressive or violent behavior. In others, we are
looking at modeling the behavior of depraved citizens who use rhetoric for
purposes that go beyond worldly comprehension.
Finally, no, to all who wondered it, I am not planning to leave academia to
become the next George Carlin either.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Stuart Shulman <stuart.shulman at gmail.com>
Date: Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 1:51 PM
Subject: Re: [Air-L] QDAP/Texifter Foul Language List
To: Jerom Janssen <jfjanssen at gmail.com>
I am wary of legal repercussions and would probably think it unwise. The
language is both awful and valuable as research data.
What would you do?
On Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 2:01 PM, Jessica Richman
<jessica.richman at gmail.com>wrote:
> Yes, I was wondering this too. It seems unfair to ask for public
> contribution if this is a private project that only your company will profit
> On Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 6:48 PM, Jerom Janssen <jfjanssen at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Dear Dr. Stuart Shulman,
>> This is a very interesting project. Will the results (tokens/phrases plus
>> their counts and ratings) be put in the public domain?
>> Jerom Janssen
>> On Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 13:58, <stuart.shulman at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > If you have trouble viewing or submitting this form, you can fill it out
>> > online:
>> > QDAP/Texifter Foul Language List
>> > We are compiling a list of oaths, dirty words, racist and sexual
>> > and other offensive terms to build new language models and software
>> > The notable increase in public and private threats communicated via the
>> > Internet to Congress and the White House makes it important to do basic
>> > research that identifies the precursors of aggressive or violent
>> > Adding your uniquely offensive contribution to the list, with an
>> > rating from 1-7, with 1 representing a mildly offensive term and 7
>> > representing the most foul term, will advance this work.
>> > We are not collecting any data about the people submitting items to this
>> > list. The process is anonymous. The research is jointly sponsored by
>> QDAP &
>> > Texifter, LLC and directed by Dr. Stuart Shulman, QDAP Director and
>> > President & CEO.
>> > http://www.umass.edu/qdap/
>> > http://texifter.com/
>> > Insert your word *
>> > Rate the word 1-7 (1 = least & 7 = most offensive) *
>> > Powered by Google Docs Report Abuse - Terms of Service - Additional
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Dr. Stuart W. Shulman
Department of Political Science
University of Massachusetts Amherst
200 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003
stu at polsci.umass.edu
Editor, Journal of Information Technology and Politics
Associate Director, National Center for Digital Government
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