This is an AI-powered intervention, most often Jigsaw's Perspective API, the rates the toxicity of a comment. Typically any comment receiving a high toxicity score will prompt something suggesting they revise their post.
This intervention reduces the number of toxic comments posted. It is particularly geared towards "road rage" style comments, in which an otherwise genuine user is immediately in the heat of the moment.
It is worth noting that any API that rates the toxicity of comments is human-written. It will, naturally, carry the perspective and biases of its creators.
This can be used in conjunction with any comment section or platform that primarily relies on short-text posts.
In one experiment, researchers at the for-profit social engagement platform, OpenWeb, presented users, who had made a toxic post, a prompt suggesting that they revise their post. The study found that about half users presented with the prompt either revise their comment or decide not to post it when prompted that their comment may be inflammatory.
"The overall positive outcome of this experiment reinforces our belief that quality spaces and civility cues drive a better, healthier conversation experience." writer the study's authors. "A gentle nudge can steer the conversation in the right direction and provide an opportunity for users with good intentions to participate. The feature provides more transparency and education throughout the user engagement journey boosting loyalty and overall community health."
Important Note: this was a study of their own platform, which they sell as a service.
The findings could help explain that, while a minority of the edits were either trying to trick the system or redirecting their angrily to the prompt itself; most, but not all, of the edits in response to this prompt are done in good faith.
When it comes to moderation technologies there is no one size fits all. We believe this data analysis has also helped us understand and detect online trolls faster and better. If a user is repeatedly ignoring nudges and trying to trick the system, it warrants stronger tools such as auto suspension.
The photo with the interlocking yellow-green-blue icon is from the MFA Thesis Project of School of Visual Arts graduate, Kate Styer. You can learn more about her work at: https://www.katestyer.com/keeper
Do you think this intervention could have more benefits, unacknowledged drawbacks, or other inaccuracies that we've neglected to mention here?
We always welcome more evidence and rigorous research to back up, debunk, or augment what we know.
If you want to be a part of that effort, we'd love to have your help!Email us
Make new users more comfortable in community and more resilient to trolling