Yahoo fights hate speech with abuse algorithm

The automated process can identify abuse in 90 per cent of cases

Yahoo has developed an algorithm that can detect if people are using hate speech online and in tests, which has been able to detect abuse in 90 per cent of cases in tests.

The algorithm is built upon machine learning technologies and crowdsourced abuse detection, analysing parameters such as comment length, number of insult words and punctuation on thousands of articles on Yahoo News and Finance to work out what can be classed as abusive.

Trained abuse-hunter humans also analysed these same pages, inputting them into the database and further training the algorithm to pick up what is classed as abuse.

The third aspect was using Amazon's Mechanical Turk website, which allows companies to pay people to use their own human intelligence to sort out which comments were classed as abusive and which weren't. Yahoo paid each member who wanted to identify abusive/non abusive comments $0.02 for each comment they categorised.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

However, this second group of humans was much less successful at identifying the abusive comments, Yahoo said, which demonstrated people need to be trained to work out which comments were classed as hate speech and which were not.

Nonetheless, merging these processes managed to uncover the majority of abusive comments on the sites, making it one of the most accurate uses of machine learning to date.

Now Yahoo is releasing the database of hate speech to the wider world, hoping to stop the problem spreading.

However, Yahoo explained it has not tested the technology outside of its own sites, but it still represents a significant step forward in the field of natural language processing.

Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/policy-legislation/data-governance/354496/brexit-security-talks-under-threat-after-uk-accused-of
data governance

Brexit security talks under threat after UK accused of illegally copying Schengen data

10 Jan 2020
Visit/security/cyber-security/354468/if-not-passwords-then-what
cyber security

If not passwords then what?

8 Jan 2020
Visit/policy-legislation/31772/gdpr-and-brexit-how-will-one-affect-the-other
Policy & legislation

GDPR and Brexit: How will one affect the other?

9 Jan 2020
Visit/web-browser/30394/what-is-http-error-503-and-how-do-you-fix-it
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020