Google Launches New Tool to Combat Toxic Comments Online

Alphabet, the parent company to NEC member Google, recently launched their new tool Perspective, which uses machine-learning technology to improve the comment sections online by identifying “toxic” comments.

Online publishers can now apply for access to Perspective through Alphabet’s technology incubator arm, Jigsaw, all without charge. To teach Perspective which comments to consider toxic, a team at Jigsaw worked with The New York Times and Wikipedia to review hundreds of thousands of comments and identify those which would deter people from engaging in the conversation. Then, the team had Perspective score comments on a scale of 0 to 100 on how similar the new comments were to the “toxic” ones.

Jigsaw President Jared Cohen, while discussing why Perspective is needed, said, “We have more information and more articles than any other time in history, and yet the toxicity of the conversations that follow those articles are driving people away from the conversation.”

The New England Council congratulates Google on the development of this new tool that can help manage the negative, toxic comments web publishers have struggled to combat. Read more in The Boston Globe and Wired.

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