Expressing argumentative discussions in social media sites

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Citation: Christoph Lange, Uldis Bojārs, Tudor Groza, John G. Breslin, Siegfried Handschuh (2008) Expressing argumentative discussions in social media sites. Social Data on the Web (RSS)


Tagged: Computer Science (RSS) Semantic Web (RSS), online argumentation (RSS), social media websites (RSS), SIOC (RSS), decision making (RSS), IBIS (RSS)



Online discussions contain hidden semantics which machines can't easily parse, including argumentation.

Ontologies like SIOC (Semantically Interlinked Online Communities, see e.g. Interlinking the social Web with semantics) can help indicate the flow of participants and the underlying structure.

Forums and blog discussions, wiki discussions and bug tracking are presented as places argumentative discussions happen; these use cases motivate the need for an argumentation model for SIOC. In wikis, structured argumentation already happens using the DILIGENT ontology, on


An IBIS-based argumentation model for SIOC is presented (Fig 3), however using it presents several issues: "Once the software supports the SIOC argumentation in principle, the next challenge is acquiring information about argumentative structures in discussions. This could be done automatically, or by letting the users annotate their posts manually."

Use Cases

  • An opinion in a blog posts could be responded to with comments that agree or disagree.
  • Determining the location of a meeting for a discussion thread on a forum or bulletin board.
  • Wiki discussions
  • Bug tracking

See also

This paper is updated by An Abstract Framework for Modeling Argumentation in Virtual Communities, which presents a related argumentation model, while addressing the granularity concerns raised in this article. It also references work on SWiM (Arguing on issues with mathematical knowledge items in a semantic wiki) and DILIGENT(An Argumentation Ontology for Distributed, Loosely-controlled and evolvInG Engineering processes of oNTologies (DILIGENT))

Related Work

The related work section is quite useful, referencing related theories, models, and applications.

Selected References

Theoretical and practical relevance:

Users will be able to get machines to do some for the work for them!