New System can Point Cyberbullies on Social MediaSci-Tech

June 12, 2018 07:12
New System can Point Cyberbullies on Social Media

(Image source from: Patch)

Scientists, including one of Indian-origin, have formulated a new method that can point filthy personal attacks by cyberbullies on social media and alert parents or network administrators when ill-treatment has occurred.

The approach uses five times less computing resources than existing tools.

The technique was developed by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder in the United States.

An associate professor at UC Boulder said, it is efficient enough to monitor a network the size of Instagram for a modest investment in server powder.

"The response of the social media networks to the fake news has recently started to uptick, even though it took grave consequences to reach that point. The response needs to be just as strong for cyberbullying," said Han.

The group as well released a free Android app named BullyAlert that lets parents receive alerts when their kids go through bullying on Instagram.

The researchers said that the app can learn from and adapt to what parents consider bullying.

"As a parent, I know that a lot of times we are not in full knowledge of what our children are doing on their social networks," said Shivakant Mishra, a professor at UC Boulder.

"An app like this that informs us when something problematic is happening is invaluable," Mishra said.

In order to build their toolbox, the researchers, in the beginning employed humans to teach a computer programme on how to separate benign online comments from abuse.

Subsequently, they designed a system that functions a bit like infirmary triage. When a user uploads new posts, the group's tools make a quick scan of the comments and if they look questionable, then that post gets high priority to receive further checks.

Nevertheless, if comments on the post all seem generous, then the system bumps the post to the bottom of its queue.  

"Our goal is to focus on the most vulnerable sessions. We still continue to monitor all of the sessions, but we monitor more frequently those sessions that we think are more problematic," Han said.

By Sowmya Sangam

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