Complex Algorithms Being Tested to Curtail Online Harassment and Trolls

Internet giants Twitter and Google recently announced that they are working on developing algorithms to ensure the safety of users and to discourage antisocial behaviors by abusive users commonly known as trolls.


Twitter executives are testing new features that will allow users to limit the current functions of their social media activity. Similar to social networks such as the popular Snapchat, users could be allowed to set the amount of time that their tweets can be seen by others. They may also be able to limit visibility to only those followers who have been approved.


In addition to letting only followers see their updates, Twitter users will also be able to filter the users who can see their activity. For example, users may be able to filter out accounts that do not have profile photos or that have not been verified by means of email addresses or mobile phone numbers.


Analysts are divided on whether the enhanced privacy and safety features will be a good move by Twitter, a social network that has been embattled in terms of its financial future and on Wall Street. One analyst went as far as to label the new Twitter measures as borderline censorship. Although Twitter has been enjoying newfound popularity thanks to the controversial activity of United States President Donald Trump, investors are not convinced that the social network is on a path to profit.


Google is reaching out to its substantial developer community with a new API called Perspective. The API is the work of the Jigsaw section at Google, a special group that has been labeled as a premier think tank for the internet search giant. Perspective is expected to work as a tool for publishers whose websites include commenting features.


Once Perspective is developed as an application or as a browser enhancement, users who read and posts comments will be able to apply certain filters that lets them know when they may face a potential troll situation. The API will analyze commenting threads to let users know if they are dealing with internet trolls or if their own comments may incite abusive behavior.



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