A time-robust group recommender for featured comments on news platforms

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Introduction Recently, content moderators on news platforms face the challenging task to select high-quality comments to feature on the webpage, a manual and time-consuming task exacerbated by platform growth. This paper introduces a group recommender system based on classifiers to aid moderators in this selection process.Methods Utilizing data from a Dutch news platform, we demonstrate that integrating comment data with user history and contextual relevance yields high ranking scores. To evaluate our models, we created realistic evaluation scenarios based on unseen online discussions from both 2020 and 2023, replicating changing news cycles and platform growth.Results We demonstrate that our best-performing models maintain their ranking performance even when article topics change, achieving an optimum mean NDCG@5 of 0.89.Discussion The expert evaluation by platform-employed moderators underscores the subjectivity inherent in moderation practices, emphasizing the value of recommending comments over classification. Our research contributes to the advancement of (semi-)automated content moderation and the understanding of deliberation quality assessment in online discourse.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1399739
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalFrontiers in Big Data
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2024


  • Content moderation
  • Natural language processing
  • News recommendation
  • Online discussions
  • Ranking


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