Silicon Valley Censorship

Only 12 %! I gotta try harder!

Google’s latest project is an application called Perspective, which, as Wired reports, brings the tech company “a step closer to its goal of helping to foster troll-free discussion online, and filtering out the abusive comments that silence vulnerable voices.” In other words, Google is teaching computers how to censor.

If Google’s plans are not quite Orwellian enough for you, the practical results are rather more frightening. Released in February, Perspective’s partners include the New York Times, the GuardianWikipedia and the Economist. Google, whose motto is “Do the Right Thing,” is aiming its bowdlerism at public comment sections on newspaper websites, but the potential is far broader.

Perspective works by identifying the “toxicity level” of comments published online. Google states that Perspective will enable companies to “sort comments more effectively, or allow readers to more easily find relevant information.” Perspective’s demonstration website currently allows anyone to measure the “toxicity” of a word or phrase, according to its algorithm. What, then, constitutes a “toxic” comment?

The organization with which I work, the Middle East Forum, studies Islamism. We work to tackle the threat posed by both violent and non-violent Islamism, assisted by our Muslim allies. We believe that radical Islam is the problem and moderate Islam is the solution.

Perspective does not look fondly at our work…

  • Blacksmith

    I wonder how ‘pip’ is our lord and master would fare?

  • The Deplorable Rosenmops

    I wonder if “arselifter” is considered toxic. Might have to write in code.

  • Watchman

    Some of my results with the ‘toxic’ score appended,:

    Hillary Clinton won the popular vote 1%
    Bernie Sanders is a communist 72%
    Bernie Sanders is a democratic socialist 11%
    Adolf Hitler was a Nazi 87%
    Adolf Hitler was a National Socialist 78%
    Adolf Hitler was a Fascist 98%
    Donald Trump is a Fascist 100%
    Bernie Sanders is a Fascist 97%
    Hillary Clinton is a Fascist 100%
    Benito Mussolini is a Fascist 100%
    Pepe is a Fascist 97%
    Donald Trump is sexist 97%
    Hillary Clinton is honest 1%
    Donald Trump is honest 3%
    Bernie Sanders is honest 0%
    Undocumented migrants are here illegally 66%
    Undocumented migrants should be deported 83%
    Undocumented migrants should be allowed to stay 63%
    Islam is a religion of peace 65%
    Islam is not a religion of peace 43%
    Islamists are murdering innocent people 87%
    Islamophobia should be punished 66%
    Islamophobia is a made-up term 10%
    Feminism is toxic 97%
    Toxic is toxic 92%
    Arsenic is toxic 66%
    Cyanide is toxic 87%
    Communism has never worked in any major country 9%
    Capitalism has never worked in any major country 3%
    Fascism 51%
    Communism 13%
    Capitalism 3%
    Socialism 1%
    Nazism 92%
    Islamism 4%
    Islamist 3%
    Radical Islamism 13%
    Abortion 63%
    North Korea 1%
    Jihad 51%
    Black Lives Matter 34%
    By Any Means Necessary 0%
    Right To Bear Arms 2%
    Blazing Cat Fur 9%