Multimodal Religiously Hateful Social Media Memes Classification based on Textual and Image Data

Document Type


Source of Publication

ACM Transactions on Asian and Low-Resource Language Information Processing

Publication Date



Multimodal hateful social media meme detection is an important and challenging problem in the vision-language domain. Recent studies show high accuracy for such multimodal tasks due to datasets that provide better joint multimodal embedding to narrow the semantic gap. Religiously hateful meme detection is not extensively explored among published datasets. While there is a need for higher accuracy on religiously hateful memes, deep learning-based models often suffer from inductive bias. This issue is addressed in this work with the following contributions. First, a religiously hateful memes dataset is created and published publicly to advance hateful religious memes detection research. Over 2000 meme images are collected with their corresponding text. The proposed approach compares and fine-tunes VisualBERT pre-trained on the Conceptual Caption (CC) dataset for the downstream classification task. We also extend the dataset with the Facebook hateful memes dataset. We extract visual features using ResNeXT-152 Aggregated Residual Transformations based Masked Regions with Convolutional Neural Networks (R-CNN) and Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) uncased for textual encoding for the early fusion model. We use the primary evaluation metric of an Area Under the Operator Characters Curve (AUROC) to measure model separability. Results show that the proposed approach has a higher AUCROC score of \(78\% \) , proving the model’s higher separability performance and an accuracy of \(70\% \) . It shows comparatively superior performance considering dataset size and against ensemble-based machine learning approaches.




Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)


Communication | Computer Sciences


Social media, Meme detection, Hate speech, Deep learning

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access


Open Access Type

Bronze: This publication is openly available on the publisher’s website but without an open license