Google has been doing a lot of interesting things lately, and there’s been a lot of speculation about a plethora of different programs, algorithm’s and rules related to them, much of which has been just that……speculative. One definite program it is implementing is an algorithm called Jigsaw, Jigsaw is a subsidiary of Google and it is about to release it any day now (if they haven’t already) via a set of tools called Conversation AI.
So what exactly will it do? It’s software that learns automatically to spot abusive language and harassment, something very, very common with Internet trolls. What are Internet trolls? Good thing you asked. It’s not the Scandinavian mythical folklore creature that lives in dark places or underneath bridges. An Internet Troll is “Someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response.” (Moreau, 2016)
One of the worst places for trolls, (who hide behind proxy servers, fake names and accounts) are blogs. Just ask Leslie Jones, the Ghostbusters actress whose life was turned upside down by trolls, whose vile, racist online abuse went viral when her Twitter account became a platform for trolls calling her some of the most shameful names. Be forewarned before you click the link about the language contained within. She shut her account down, but not before Twitter owner, and founder, Jack Dorsey vowed to fight the abuse.
I can tell you I’ve personally dealt with Internet troll’s and continue to via two online blogs who posted complete false claims about stolen valor and my military service, when I was my company’s (Greyside Group) CEO. Make no doubt about it, these blog owners know who these commentors are, because people who want to comment must provide a valid email address in order to comment on their blogs as they want to screen for potential trolls on their own blogsites……ohhhh the irony. My own personal interaction with trolls was all started by a former terminated employee and self-proclaimed “Google god that hacks people’s lives.” Much more about this later, but suffice it to say, the comments section is where these losers like to hang out and post their hate comments and demonstrate their pretty sad existence. This is the very thing that Jigsaw has been created for. Jigsaw, in other words, has become Google’s Internet justice league. These low life’s and bottom dwellers won’t be able to hide behind anonymity for much longer.
The algorithm still has some lessons to learn and kinks that need to be ironed out, but it’s changing the landscape and evidence suggests that this kind of quick detection can, and will, tame trolling.