Hacking against hate speech: Ideas emerge ahead of London event

International Alert kicked off its 2016 #peacehack series with an event in The Hague that explored how technology can be used to counter online hate speech – the theme of our upcoming hackathon at Google Campus London (#peacehackLDN).

An ideas session was run as part of the Big Data for Peace and Justice Summer School, run by the University of Leiden and the Centre for Innovation, where leading innovators and thinkers were invited to discuss their ideas for harnessing the power of the data revolution build a safer and fairer world.

Alert ran a four-hour “lite” version of its #peacehack initiative, which invites technologists and peacebuilders to come together to create solutions for building peace.

An impressive range of ideas were formulated during the mini-hackathon, which will be used to inspire participants of our London #peacehack (#peacehackLDN) when it runs from 30 September – 2 October.

The winning idea in The Hague was “Comments hate speech” – an automated approval platform that enables web comments to be analysed for hate speech before being approved and hateful comments to be actioned by administrators.

The other concepts to emerge were:

  • Words count: A targeted messaging campaign to counter hate speech, identifying current trends and demographics to shape outreach.
  • City of Love: An app which uses publicly accessible data streams (for example Twitter) to identify the level of hate speech in your local area, and presents options to link up with community groups to report these cases of abuse.
  • Love first: An algorithm for comments in online news media, which sorts and weights positive comments to make them “float” more to the top of threads.
  • MeowNow: A bot which uses Hatebase data to detect hate speech and automatically insert posts with counter messages.
  • Hate speech decision engine: Detects hate speech using machine learning, then categorises and responds to it accordingly with pre-determined messages.

Watch the video of all the pitches below and pick your winner.

Hack against hate speech with us

Are you interested in being part of our #peacehackLDN event? Whether you’re a peace practitioner, technologist, designer or developer, we’d love to hear from you. Find out more by visiting our sign up page and email us with any queries: communications@international-alert.org.