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While it is nearly effortless for humans to quickly assess the perceptual similarity between two images, the underlying processes are thought to be quite complex. Despite this, the most widely used perceptual metrics today, such as PSNR and SSIM, are simple, shallow functions, and fail to account for many nuances of human perception. Recently, the deep learning community has found that features of the VGG network trained on the ImageNet classification task has been remarkably useful as a training loss for image synthesis. But how perceptual are these so-called "perceptual losses"? What elements are critical for their success? To answer these questions, we introduce a new Full Reference Image Quality Assessment (FR-IQA) dataset of perceptual human judgments, orders of magnitude larger than previous datasets. We systematically evaluate deep features across different architectures and tasks and compare them with classic metrics. We find that deep features outperform all previous metrics by huge margins. More surprisingly, this result is not restricted to ImageNet-trained VGG features, but holds across different deep architectures and levels of supervision (supervised, self-supervised, or even unsupervised). Our results suggest that perceptual similarity is an emergent property shared across deep visual representations.

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Researchers have suggested that "the Manosphere," a conglomerate of men-centered online communities, may serve as a gateway to far right movements. In that context, this paper quantitatively studies the migratory patterns between a variety of groups within the Manosphere and the Alt-right, a loosely connected far right movement that has been particularly active in mainstream social networks. Our analysis leverages over 300 million comments spread through Reddit (in 115 subreddits) and YouTube (in 526 channels) to investigate whether the audiences of channels and subreddits associated with these communities have converged between 2006 and 2018. In addition to subreddits related to the communities of interest, we also collect data on counterparts: other groups of users which we use for comparison (e.g., for YouTube we use a set of media channels). Besides measuring the similarity in the commenting user bases of these communities, we perform a migration study, calculating to which extent users in the Manosphere gradually engage with Alt-right content. Our results suggest that there is a large overlap between the user bases of the Alt-right and of the Manosphere and that members of the Manosphere have a bigger chance to engage with far right content than carefully chosen counterparts. However, our analysis also shows that migration and user base overlap varies substantially across different platforms and within the Manosphere. Members of some communities (e.g., Men's Rights Activists) gradually engage with the Alt-right significantly more than counterparts on both Reddit and YouTube, whereas for other communities, this engagement happens mostly on Reddit (e.g., Pick Up Artists). Overall, our work paints a nuanced picture of the pipeline between the Manosphere and the Alt-right, which may inform platforms' policies and moderation decisions regarding these communities.

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Researchers have suggested that "the Manosphere," a conglomerate of men-centered online communities, may serve as a gateway to far right movements. In that context, this paper quantitatively studies the migratory patterns between a variety of groups within the Manosphere and the Alt-right, a loosely connected far right movement that has been particularly active in mainstream social networks. Our analysis leverages over 300 million comments spread through Reddit (in 115 subreddits) and YouTube (in 526 channels) to investigate whether the audiences of channels and subreddits associated with these communities have converged between 2006 and 2018. In addition to subreddits related to the communities of interest, we also collect data on counterparts: other groups of users which we use for comparison (e.g., for YouTube we use a set of media channels). Besides measuring the similarity in the commenting user bases of these communities, we perform a migration study, calculating to which extent users in the Manosphere gradually engage with Alt-right content. Our results suggest that there is a large overlap between the user bases of the Alt-right and of the Manosphere and that members of the Manosphere have a bigger chance to engage with far right content than carefully chosen counterparts. However, our analysis also shows that migration and user base overlap varies substantially across different platforms and within the Manosphere. Members of some communities (e.g., Men's Rights Activists) gradually engage with the Alt-right significantly more than counterparts on both Reddit and YouTube, whereas for other communities, this engagement happens mostly on Reddit (e.g., Pick Up Artists). Overall, our work paints a nuanced picture of the pipeline between the Manosphere and the Alt-right, which may inform platforms' policies and moderation decisions regarding these communities.

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