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Autism blogs: expressed emotion, language styles and concerns in personal and community settings
journal contributionposted on 2015-07-01, 00:00 authored by Thin NguyenThin Nguyen, Thi Duong, Svetha VenkateshSvetha Venkatesh, Quoc-Dinh Phung
The Internet has provided an ever increasingly popular platform for individuals to voice their thoughts, and like-minded people to share stories. This unintentionally leaves characteristics of individuals and communities, which are often difﬁcult to be collected in traditional studies. Individuals with autism are such a case, in which the Internet could facilitate even more communication given its social-spatial distance being a characteristic preference for individuals with autism. Previous studies examined the traces left in the posts of online autism communities (Autism) in comparison with other online communities (Control). This work further investigates these online populations through the contents of not only their posts but also their comments. We ﬁrst compare the Autism and Control blogs based on three features: topics, language styles and affective information. The autism groups are then further examined, based on the same three features, by looking at their personal (Personal) and community (Community) blogs separately. Machine learning and statistical methods are used to discriminate blog contents in both cases. All three features are found to be signiﬁcantly different between Autism and Control, and between autism Personal and Community. These features also show good indicative power in prediction of autism blogs in both personal and community settings.