What to do with Internet hate speech? It is increasingly being used by individuals and groups to attack and threaten others on social media, messaging, and podcasting sites, along with web browsers. The algorithms used to determine a user’s activities on these websites cannot prevent or deter abusive behavior, nor the damage caused by it.
Fortunately, there are some technologies available to check whether the activity is controversial. These technologies allow users to ask questions about the behavior, and to view detailed insights from past queries. To judge whether the questions are valid and relevant, the author’s browser settings are configured to permit feedback for specific words and phrases. The reader is informed if there is a “no communication” sign on the browser’s dialog box.
Here are 4 ways to assess the reliability of a question on a social media account.
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1. Edit to verify quality and accuracy. A simple function in Chrome, for example, to check for a false positive. For my account, clicking through to a window at the top left-hand side of the browser will display a timeline of my posts since the date of the my last edit. An annotation next to each post helps users to judge the validity of a question.
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2. Assess pre-existing questions. Before hitting Submit, a sign next to each question asks whether users are familiar with previous comments. This feature enables users to alert the individual to improve the quality of their question.
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3. Set your queries to query specific words. A browser within the Twitter webapp, for example, allows users to look for answers to trending questions on a given date. Longlisted phrases are drawn from the public conversation, ranging from popular search terms to rants from anonymous trolls.
To assess whether a question is relevant, longlisted phrases are tapped into to a memory prompt function, similar to those that go through on Facebook. When triggered, the browser’s prompt screen gives the user a preview of their question.
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4. Set the page to refresh regularly. On Twitter, when a request for an answer to a question is made, the third bullet in the provided URL resolves the query. This enables the user to quickly check whether they have a response, which will then automatically update their history when a new page is clicked.