Pro/Con: Neural Detection of Stance in Argumentative Opinions

Accurate information from both sides of the contemporary issues is known to be an ‘antidote in confirmation bias’. While these types of information help the educators to improve their vital skills including critical thinking and open-mindedness, they are relatively rare and hard to find online. With the well-researched argumentative opinions (arguments) on controversial issues shared by in a non-partisan format, detecting the stance of arguments is a crucial step to automate organizing such resources. We use a universal pretrained language model with weight-dropped LSTM neural network to leverage the context of an argument for stance detection on the proposed dataset. Experimental results show that the dataset is challenging, however, utilizing the pretrained language model fine-tuned on context information yields a general model that beats the competitive baselines. We also provide analysis to find the informative segments of an argument to our stance detection model and investigate the relationship between the sentiment of an argument with its stance.