The authors examine the portrayal of LGBT people on Wikipedia, comparing against heteronormative people. A dataset of LGBT and non-LGBT bios were collected and annotated from Wikipedia. Further, the authors paired LGBT with non-LGBT people based on their similarity of characteristics. The main tool they use to frame this problem is contextual affective analysis.

Contextual affective analysis is an NLP technique that analyzes portrayals along power, agency and sentiment axes. To help in this analysis, connotation frames have been developed, which are lexicons of verbs that elicit implications. To collect those from Wikipedia, annotators where asked questions such as “does the subject have less/equal/more power than the object” and ‘‘does the subject have low/moderate/high agency” etc.

The way the agency of LGBT people is portrayed is sometimes misleading. The authors bring up Alan Turing as an example, where in the Spanish and Russian Wikipedia entries he ‘chose’ and ‘preferred’ the hormonal injections treatment which show high agency, in contrast to the ‘accepted’ used in the English entry which shows low agency.

Overall, the authors find that LGBT people are portrayed more negatively in Russian than non-LGBT people. In English, LGBT people are portrayed in a more positive way, while in Spanish there is a balance between LGBT and non-LGBT people. It is noted that this finding aligns with the perception of LGBT people in these countries, according to a recent study they cite. There is little difference when it comes to the person’s date of birth (although in English, there were neutral connotations for people born before 1900, positive between 1900-1960 and positive for people born after 1960). There is, though, more significant differences when it comes to occupation. In Spanish, entertainers are viewed negatively while other occupations are neutral, but in Russian, entertainers are viewed neutrally while other occupations are more negative.

Chan Young Park et al. Multilingual Contextual Affective Analysis of LGBT People Portrayals in Wikipedia. 2021. arXiv: 2010.10820 [cs.CL].