Reversing the Polarity with Emoticons

  • Phoey Lee TehEmail author
  • Paul Rayson
  • Irina Pak
  • Scott Piao
  • Seow Mei Yeng
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9612)


Technology advancement in social media software allows users to include elements of visual communication in textual settings. Emoticons are widely used as visual representations of emotion and body expressions. However, the assignment of values to the “emoticons” in current sentiment analysis tools is still at a very early stage. This paper presents our experiments in which we study the impact of positive and negative emoticons on the classifications by fifteen different sentiment tools. The “smiley” :) and the “sad” emoticon :( and raw-text are compared to verify the degrees of sentiment polarity levels. Questionnaires were used to collect human ratings of the positive and negative values of a set of sample comments that end with these emoticons. Our results show that emoticons used in sentences are able to reverse the polarity of their true sentiment values.


Sentiment Emoticons Polarity Emotion Social media 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phoey Lee Teh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul Rayson
    • 2
  • Irina Pak
    • 1
  • Scott Piao
    • 2
  • Seow Mei Yeng
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computing and Information SystemsSunway UniversityBandar SunwayMalaysia
  2. 2.School of Computing and CommunicationsLancaster UniversityLancasterUK

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