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IBM Watson joins Twitter troll fight

IBM’s technology is capable of understanding natural language.

By CBR Staff Writer

Micro-blogging site Twitter is to enlist IBM Watson as it continues to tackle abuse on its platform.

Twitter will use IBM Watson to identify abusive messages on its site. Watson is capable of understanding natural language and collecting information from images.

Twitter data strategy vice-president Chris Moody was quoted by GeekWire as saying: “We have had some abuse on the platform. We’ve talked very publicly in the in the last few months and said our number 1 priority is stop the abuse.

“But it’s a very, very hard challenge.”

Earlier this month, the company revealed updates to help contain abusive content by proactively working to track those users who take Twitter to trouble others.

Twitter earlier said in a blog post: “We’re working to identify accounts as they’re engaging in abusive behavior, even if this behavior hasn’t been reported to us. Then, we’re taking action by limiting certain account functionality for a set amount of time, such as allowing only their followers to see their Tweets.


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“For example, this change could come into effect if an account is repeatedly Tweeting without solicitation at non-followers or engaging in patterns of abusive behavior that is in violation of the Twitter Rules.”

Recently, social media companies came under fire in both the UK and Germany for failing to properly combat hate speech.

The companies have come under increasing scrutiny over the last few years as the growth in extremist opinions has found a foothold in enclaves of social media, and targeted abuse has become much more rampant.

READ MORE: Not-so-social media, Facebook and Twitter under fire across Europe for hate speech

In December last year, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft announced a partnership to stop the online spread of terrorist content.

The companies have committed to creating a database of terrorist organisations, their imagery, videos and more with unique digital “fingerprints”, once these are removed from their services.

They will also share this information to identify potential terrorist content hosted on their respective consumer platforms.

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