Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Google Fights Online Trolls With New Tool Perspective

Perspective
In the past couple of years the internet has turned into an ugly place which is filled with name calling, harassment and in some extreme cases with threats of violence. The extent of the online violence or trolling or abusive barrage is so much that half of the internet users in United States have stated that they had experience such intimidation.

Almost a third of those users has confirmed that they restraint themselves from posting anything online simply out of fear. This data has been generated by a non-profit Data & Society Research Institute and a gruesome has fact has emerged from this study which points that the young women and women of colour are targeted specifically by the trolls.

Google is coming up with a noble solution for this by releasing an artificial intelligence tool named Perspective. Perspective is designed to scan the online content and define its ‘toxicity’ purely based on user’s ratings.

How Perspective works?

Perspective works in a simple and dignified fashion wherein a user can feed an online comment board eight into the Perspective to understand it toxicity level based on the user’s responses. This score will help the users in deciding whether they should participate in the conversation or to stay away from it. This tool will be a boon for the publishing houses as they will be able to monitor their site’s comments boards in a more effective manner.

Quick scan of ugly words on Perspective

Perspective support rating for specific words and phrases as well wherein a quick scan is conducted and results are shown to the user. Perspective has thrown an insightful report based on a quick scan of the ugly words. This report has shown that the words with n-letter has toxicity of 82 percent, k--- which is a derogatory word for the Jewish person had toxicity of 39 percent while c--- which is a slur for Chinese origin person had toxicity of 32 percent. When phrases like ‘you are a’ is thrown at Perspective then the toxicity score goes up wildly.

The future applications of Perspective

The use of Perspective is free and open for everyone and it is up to the publishers whether they wish to showcase the results to public or not. Currently the online publishers rely on the crowdsourcing methods in which readers are required to flag the offensive language in the comments to the human moderators. Perspective can even be utilised by the website owners in cleaning up the language on their sites.

Some have suggested that Perspective can lead towards censoring the free speech in the long run. In a response Google has stated that this tool has been designed to flag the ‘low hanging fruit’ which can be later on adjudged by the human moderators whether it should be removed or not.

Google attempt towards fighting the troll and abusive content in the online arena is very similar to the efforts of Twitter and some other non-profit organisations.