WOAH 2020 | Contributions from Civil Society


The 4th Workshop on Online Abuse and Harms is colocated with the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP) 2020. Workshops take place in the two days following the main conference and allow more specific issues to be explored in-depth. Previous iterations of the workshop have been colocated with either EMNLP or ACL. We have published proceedings from every iteration, which you can find on the ACL Anthology. In each edition of the workshop, we invite speakers and panelists to shed light on a specific aspect pertaining to analyzing and detecting online abuse. WOAH welcomes an interdisciplinary mix of perspectives on online abuse and harm.

We aim to foster an inter-disciplinary community of researchers and activists tackling online abuse. In previous iterations the workshop has sought to reach out to different research communities, and in this fourth edition, we go further by also reaching out to civil society with the aims of (1) enabinlg researchers to share knowledge and computational models and (2) enabling civil society to help guide the futures of research into online abuse and harassment. Previously published work can be accepted as a non-archival submission.

Types of contributions

We invite organizations in civil society to submit reports, case studies and findings (of between 5 and 20 pages) on any of the topics:

  • Case studies and examples of harassment and abuse experienced online - including but not limited to examples around online gender based violence and online hate speech,
  • Successes and failures of content moderation systems and policies,
  • Outline of national/global legal and/or technical challenges faced,
  • Best practices of working in partnership with other actors and/or across countries,
  • Interventions that have helped victims and survivors of online abuse gather evidence,
  • Policy, practice and content moderation systems recommendations for tech platforms and researchers,
  • Documentation of policy gaps that require data and academic support,
  • Evidence pertaining to the misuse of tech platforms in work settings,
  • Increase abuse online, malinformation, and disinformation which target communities as a result of COVID-19, and
  • Evidence pertaining to the impact of online abuse on democratic participation and representation


Submission deadline: September 1, 2020

Notification deadline: September 29, 2020

Final manuscript deadline: October 14, 2020

Workshop date: November 20th, 2020

Submission information

Submission platform: http://softconf.com/emnlp2020/WOAH4

If you have any issues or questions regarding submissions or submission processes, please do not hesitate to contact the organizers at organisers@workshopononlineabuse.com.

The submitted contributions will be subject to single blind (i.e. the authors are known but the reviewers are not disclosed to the authors) peer review. We ask that the authors use the EMNLP 2020 word template when submitting their contributions. If there is a problem with this then we will provide support for the accepted contributions in ensuring that the formatting adheres to the format required by EMNLP.