Google and Jigsaw launch Perspective, to rate your toxic comments

By : |February 24, 2017 0

Hate speech, swearing, harassment is all too common for any platform that has a ‘comments’ sections. Instead of holding the platform for a rational debate, many end up creating it a dump of trash.

Many companies have taken initiatives like Microsoft provides service to report online abuse or Twitter’s mute function to fight the online abuse. Now, Google is launching a new AI-based way to manage online discussions.

Google and Alphabet subsidiary Jigsaw launched a new tool called ‘Perspective‘, a machine learning tool that rates the ‘toxic’ comments.

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CIOL Google and Jigsaw launches Perspective, to rate your toxic commentsJigsaw President Jared Cohen, wrote in a blog post, “This problem doesn’t just impact online readers. News organisations want to encourage engagement and discussion around their content but find that sorting through millions of comments to find those that are trolling or abusive takes a lot of money, labour, and time. As a result, many sites have shut down comments altogether. But they tell us that isn’t the solution they want. We think technology can help.”

With Perspective, developers can determine what is virtually toxic. The software applies a score to comments based on a scale that has been established by digging million of comments and categorised as “toxic” by humans reviewers. The demo version of the new API website has been made public, so you can type your comments there and see the toxic rate. (Spoiler alert, you’ll never get 0 percent toxic rate)

Developers can flag comments, let moderators take it from there, or show commenters themselves if their comments are considered toxic.

“Because of harassment, many people give up on sharing their thoughts online or end up only talking to people who already agree with them,” Jigsaw product manager CJ Adams said in a statement.

The report also says that 72 percent of American internet users have witnessed harassment online and nearly half have personally experienced it. Almost a third self-censor what they post online for fear of retribution. According to the same report, online harassment has affected the lives of roughly 140 million people in the U.S.

Recently, Amazon-owned IMDb closed its comments section after years of fighting toxicity. However, the same IMDb board is back on Reddit.

“To tackle the biggest and most important problems we face, we need better ways to have conversations at scale,” Lucas Dixon, Jigsaw chief research scientist, said in a statement.

The latest initiative by Google is already in a testing phase with publishers like The New York Times, The Guardian, and the Economist and they are also planning to use it to keep the comment sections a place where “everyone can have intelligent debates, according to a Wired report.

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