This is very serious. Some cultures like the Germans have not yet transitioned from proprietary held news venues commentary sections to independent social media and other forums. The consequence is that a large part of the debate only takes place under the auspices of powerful authorities and is already now strictly regulated.
More often than not a German news site would allow debate only on specific articles and thus would be ‘moderated’ by a biased authority. Some outlets like Zeit online invests a lot of money to allow more debates which is necessary to censor the emerging content. The result is that the remaining posts cheerleading either Zeit online and/or the government or a note that a comment was deleted for being ‘rude’. People who disagree withdraw. Another classic now is that twenty to thirty comments are deleted at once and the notes say ‘the post this responds to has been taken off already’.
This deleting habits were already around when Google and Co did not interfere and one could compare English-speaking commentary with what was happening on German news sites. I concluded that Germans aren’t so much more rude and that all the deletion frenzy was unjustifiable.
Now a daughter company of Google is offering a tool that will semi-automatically flag and remove uncommon content. The algorithm learns from complaints what to remove. In other words, the most intolerant will have a say, the majority will rule the minority and authorities will be undisturbed from criticism.
A research team tied to Google unveiled a new tool on Thursday that could have a profound effect on how we talk to each other online. It’s called “Perspective,” and it provides a way for news websites and blogs to moderate online discussions with the help of artificial intelligence.
The researchers believe it could turn the tide against trolls on the Internet, and reestablish online comment forums—which many view as cesspools of hatred and stupidity—as a place for honest debate about current events.
Read more at fortune.com!