The fight against spicy lingo and talk across the web known by social justice as “hate speech” and “online toxicity” will continue with Hatebase looking to eliminate all things related to spicy talk and “white nationalism” with new tools to help current year companies. The tools in question are not static and will evolve in a somewhat sentient way to stop spicy behavior.
Website TheGamer had the chance to talk with a member from Hatebase, Jennifer Nguyen, to gauge how the company is taking shape and how other companies can use this tech to curtail spicy behavior.
According to Nguyen, Hatebase is not only interested in “identifying” and “reducing” hate speech in online gaming, but the ever-growing thing called the Internet.
The organization claims to offer a level of tech that most companies cannot posses themselves, which focuses on three things:
- Reducing incidents of hate speech through monitoring
- Lessening the acceptability of hate speech
- Preventing violence, which is predicated by hate speech
In other words, it’s just insecure people wanting to tell you what’s right and wrong based on their hive mind emotions.
Anyway, Nguyen explains that Hatebase has nearly 100 languages across over 180 countries, with 3,624 terms documented to help other companies combat this thing called “hate speech.”
Nguyen also tells the website that the team has a difficult time finding and replicating the evolving forms of “hate speech” from people and “white nationalist” by saying:
“The challenge for online communities is that hate speech is extremely hard to identify, monitor, and quarantine, because 1) different people have different perspectives on hate speech (e.g. a word which would be considered benign in one context, could be seen as hateful in another), and 2) users are getting increasingly savvy about getting discriminatory content past rudimentary content filters, something we’ve seen a lot with the white nationalist movement.”
The website goes on to explain how Microsoft and Phil Spencer want to stop “hate speech” and how Hatebase can step-in to leverage smaller companies or people wanting to control their user base:
“In a blog post titled, “Video Games: A unifying force for the world,” from May of this year, Spencer stated that this effort would aim to create safe, inclusive gaming environments for all users. To do so, hate speech, bigotry, and misogyny would need to be dealt with in more effective ways. Spencer went to state that the Xbox Safety team works hard towards this goal. Spencer’s goals are admirable and a great example for others to follow, but few organizations have the resources that Microsoft does.
This is where Hatebase can shine and why it and similar projects should be a focus for continued development in the future. Smaller organizations that wish to leverage the powerful tools created by Hatebase can do so for a monthly licensing fee, while other organizations, like non-profits, members of academia, and community groups may access the license for free. Nguyen goes on to state, “Our goal is to help online communities better handle this problem and send less vitriolic content to human moderators.”
Moreover, a system called Hatebrain can perform linguistic analysis on public conversations and store the data, which means that unlike conventional research where it’s static this learning algorithm can evolve with slang, lingo and other types of words insinuating other things:
“Through their website, one can see exactly how the work is done, and examples of their work. As hate speech is varied and language evolves with slang at a fast pace, it can be difficult for traditional research to locate all forms of hate speech. Hatebase uses what they describe as a natural language engine, Hatebrain, to perform linguistic analysis on public conversations. The data is then made available through the web interface.
This means that unlike traditional research in hate speech, which can be static and frozen in the time that an investigation was done, Hatebase is ever-evolving its database with more current discussions. It is not made clear from where these conversations are taken, and it would be useful to know where exactly data is being scraped for analysis.”
Right now, hatebase.org is said to be the world’s largest structured repository of regionalized, multilingual hate speech for companies, nonprofits, academia, the government, and the media.