What It Is
This is an AI-powered intervention, most often powered by Jigsaw's Perspective API, which rates a comment's toxicity.
Typically any comment receiving a high toxicity score will prompt a message suggesting that they revise their post.
When To Use It
This can be used in conjunction with any comment section or platform that primarily relies on short-text posts.
What Is Its Intended Impact
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.
- Most, but not all edits in response to this prompt are done in good faith. A minority of the edits were either trying to trick the system or respond directly and angrily to the prompt.
- 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.
How We Know It Works
Why It Might Work
A study by OpenWeb (2020) on their own platform* found that about half of users 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." write 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.
Why It Matters
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.
OpenWeb tests the impact of “nudges” in online discussions
Ido Goldberg, Guy Simon, Kusuma Thimmaiah
Date of Publication
September 21, 2020
Is The Sample Size Significant?
Is this intervention missing something?
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