Quartz: Analysis of 500 million Reddit comments shows how the alt-right made the alt-left a thing. “By taking a deep-dive into the data, we can see the different ways in which the alt-right have attempted to capitalize on Trump’s speech and the opportunity to turn the ‘alt-left’ into a mainstream political concept. Through examining the last six months of Reddit comments—all half a billion of them—we can see the intensity with which /r/The_Donald has attempted to push the focus of public conversation toward condemnation of the left, not the right.”
Engadget: Google’s comment-ranking system will be a hit with the alt-right. “A recent, sprawling Wired feature outlined the results of its analysis on toxicity in online commenters across the United States. Unsurprisingly, it was like catnip for everyone who’s ever heard the phrase ‘don’t read the comments.’ According to ‘The Great Tech Panic: Trolls Across America,’ Vermont has the most toxic online commenters, whereas Sharpsburg, Georgia, ‘is the least-toxic city in the US.’ There’s just one problem.”
The Next Web: Instagram is now using AI to fight trolls and spammers. “Using social media comes with the unfortunate risk of encountering hate speech and offensive comments. The companies behind them are constantly looking for new ways to combat hate speech and now Instagram is turning to the logical next step: Artificial intelligence.”
Fortune Magazine: New York Times Opens Up Comments With Google-backed AI . “Trolls have long enjoyed the upper hand on the Internet: Their hate and stupidity can turn social media into a toxic cesspool, and drive people away from online discussions altogether. So kudos to the New York Times for striking back.”
TechCrunch: Soon you’ll be able to voice chat with YouTube commenters in VR. “Today, Google announced that instead of adding text comments in YouTube VR, the company will be making shared rooms where users can chat by voice in VR. The company didn’t detail whether this would be random users, so we’ll have to see how much auditory spam there’s going to be.” Considering what many YouTube comments are like, this feels like a “two weeks in Philadelphia” kind of thing.
Mashable: Wow! Facebook comments now have Reactions, too. “Love them or hate them, Facebook’s Reactions aren’t going away. The social network is expanding its like button yet again. This time, it’s comments that are getting the new emoji-filled treatment.”
MIT Technology Review: Me and My Troll. “I have a troll. Writing as @zdzisiekm, or ‘Gus,’ or under other names, he has commented on stories on TechnologyReview.com 6,386 times and counting as of April 2017. As trolls go, he is unfailingly polite, and he doesn’t violate our site’s terms of service. Instead, he is reflexively, tendentiously wrong about a single topic, again and again. Gus is angry about our reporting on global warming and renewable energy technologies. His objections are notionally scientific, but they have a strongly ideological flavor.”