Yogis and machine learning against hatred!
The web has become a mirror of our hopes and emotions. Unfortunately it also became the home of many websites, antagonizing and encouraging violence, bullying and other ailments of society. While free speech is a pillar of society, encouragement to commit acts of violence is not. Nor is that kind of derogatory speech that if repeated enough, turns some kids into bullies and others into scared victims.
“Watch your words” we teach our children but let them roam freely on the web.
This is where many of them learn that hatred, violence and mocking are appropriate ways to deal with problems.
Two years ago, a small team of software developers began to work on a software, that scans arbitrary amounts of websites or text to detect derogatory or defamatory speech and flags it appropriately.
The goal was to create a scanner, that would make sure that your website stays “clean” and safe for everyone to read. The understanding was that a website should ideally be informative or uplifting, certainly not dragging down or even antagonizing.
Quickly it was discovered that those that are interested in such software already take care of their word choices and certainly don’t encourage violence, however, they rarely were aware of the complete content of pages they link to. Thus, a web-crawler was developed that not only scans your own page, but also all pages you are linking to. The very moment one of those pages crosses the threshold, you are being warned and can remove the link.
After all, your users judge you by what you recommend! If you are nice and sweet, yet link to violent ramping of hate groups, you will be the one who is seen as the antagonists.
Often we place links in blogs or other posts and pages and forget about them. Then perhaps months or years later, the linked page is changing and disaster strikes.
To keep users happy and safe the software also checks all links for phishing issues as well as load speed and availability.
This is how the software works:
add your websites url (I.e. www.myawesomesite.com)
Wait for the report that now frequently arrives via email
Real yogis did it!
This development was encouraged and consulted by yogis from Germany and the USA. They added important observations, encouragement and resources to the development. For this reason, for all yoga studios that sign up within 2018, the Hate Free Web organization (https://www.hatefreeweb.org) is waiving the $300 annual fee, that businesses pay for this service.