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Alphabet Unveils ‘Perspective’ for Combating Internet Trolls

Perspective is a great initiative from Google and Alphabet— aimed towards helping moderators and users counteract dismissively toxic comments and trolls— prevalent over myriad online forums.

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Internet trolling or rather bullying has been an obnoxious element for way too long and its high time we address the elephant in the room. Alphabet, a subsidiary to Google, has recently introduced a new tool for combating the barrage of insulting trolls over the Internet— with immediate effect. Based on the lines of machine learning— this tool is still taking baby steps in terms of development but will soon hit the global shores.

When it comes to trolling, there are only a handful of us who are unware of the same. In simpler terms, trolling is an offensive form of posting objectionable or inflammatory content— targeted towards disrupting a constructive conversation or stirring an emotional response. Lately, we have been experiencing quite a lot of trolling over the Internet— regardless of the content and individuals posting the same.

While trolls started off as funny getaways, the exaggerated versions have compelled many internet users to leave their specialized fields or close the associated comments section, completely. Apart from that, most internet moderators— concerning blogs— have their tasks cut out for keeping up with the integrity of comments and the internet values. Perspective, therefore, aims at nipping internet trolling in the bud— by dampening the unhindered growth of online toxicity.

If the technological inception counts, Perspective is strictly a brainchild of Jigsaw— technological incubator for Alphabet. Jigsaw is the same platform that was behind the creation of web proxy extension, DDoS ‘attack’ repellant and even the all-inclusive AI platform for the linguistic evaluation of harassment and abuse. This is why we are pretty upbeat for the Perspective API which is expected to drive home functionality, rather soon.The best part about Alphabet is that it can be also be used to track depressed individuals via their Aadhar card and other biometric details.

As a test, Jigsaw initiated the process— pushing a wide-array of otherwise ‘toxic’ comments into Perspective. The outputs were scintillatingly accurate as most of the objectionable comments were flagged.

If past reports are to be relied upon, Perspective was already used by the ‘New York Times’— as an ally to their existing comments section. The results were remarkable and we would soon be seeing a growth from the existing 2 percent availability of articles— open towards public commentary. Apart from that, The Economist, Wikipedia and even the Guardian have resorted to this newly launched tool.

However, things aren’t quite clear as how Google will be handling the linguistic aspect of this tool. This means, moderators working with different languages and dialects will have different takes towards trolling. This is where things can get tricky for the Perspective API. As every publisher has his or her own version of unacceptable language, it will be interesting to see how Google segregates the concept of auto-moderation for different dialects.

That said, Perspective sounds like a step into the future as it is expected to relive moderators from the psychological baggage of policing the massive list of disturbing and sometimes violent content. While a 24-hour human supervision is also usable via voter card pairing and other associated metrics, having a pre-defined algorithm is just the perfect way of handling and mitigating this anomaly of internet trolling.

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