NEW YORK, Feb. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Jigsaw, a unit within Google that forecasts and confronts emerging digital threats, announced that Perspective, a free, open source API that uses machine learning to spot toxic comments, is now processing 500 million requests daily and is measurably reducing toxicity to make conversations online better at scale. The third issue of the company’s online research magazine, The Current, which was published today, details the persistent and damaging issue of online toxicity and the role machine learning tools, like Perspective, can have in reducing it.
Launched in 2017 to combat online toxicity and harassment, Perspective scores comments based on their perceived impact on conversation and helps platforms keep comments sections open for engaging and productive conversations.
“Toxicity on the internet is a pervasive problem that disproportionately impacts marginalized groups, threatens independent journalism and crowds out freedom of expression and healthy dialogue,” said Jared Cohen, Jigsaw’s CEO. “Our partners have seen Perspective measurably reduce toxicity on their platforms, enabling them to create safer spaces for their users to exchange ideas. We’re committed to working with our partners and academic institutions to continuously train and retrain our models to become even better at identifying toxicity while minimizing bias in support of healthier conversations.”
Jigsaw built Perspective using models developed in partnership with Google’s Counter Abuse Technology team, and it is now empowering a variety of platforms to create safe space for dialogue through multiple uses:
Commenter Feedback: Perspective can provide feedback to commenters about the potential perceived toxicity of their content in real time, leading to significant results:
- Coral by Vox Media, a prominent commenting platform used by media organizations around the world, uses this function to give commenters an opportunity to change their wording before they post. A controlled study with McClatchy found that 40 percent of users changed their comment in response to feedback.
- OpenWeb, a leading audience engagement platform that hosts 100 million active users per month, launched this feature after an OpenWeb study, conducted as part of broader Jigsaw research, found that out of all commenters who edited their language, 44.7 percent of commenters replaced or removed offensive words and 7.6 percent elected to rewrite their comment entirely.
Helping Human Moderators: Perspective also serves to assist human moderators in working more efficiently and reducing toxicity on their platforms:
- The New York Times built Moderator: a tool that leverages Perspective to prioritize comments for human moderation and approve those most likely to pass a manual review. The Times has increased the number of articles they could open to comments using Perspective, allowing them to give readers a wider, more diverse selection of articles on which to comment.
- FACEIT, one of Europe’s largest gaming platforms, uses Perspective’s toxicity score to give warnings or bans to users, who can appeal to a human moderator for final review. As a result of this real-time moderation, FACEIT has seen a 20 percent reduction in toxic messages.
- Cofina, a Portuguese media company, was able to decrease the need for human moderation by 60 percent, saving their team at least 2 hours per day after integrating Perspective into their CMS to moderate the comments in their sports and financial newspapers.
“Perspective API has greatly enhanced our ability to spot toxicity in our comment submissions. It has made the work of our moderation team more impactful and efficient and since implementing the tool, we’ve been able to increase the number of articles open to comments by about a third.” – Marcia Loughran, Community Editor, The New York Times
“Working with Perspective has enabled us to encourage positive interactions across hundreds of dynamic and engaged communities and tens of millions of users. The solutions are elegant and frictionless, supporting our vision for higher quality engagement with less toxicity.” – Nadav Shoval, CEO & Co-Founder OpenWeb
“At Coral, we focus on making the essential work of moderators easier and faster. Perspective helps us by identifying comments in several languages that require immediate attention. The Perspective team are terrific collaborators in this mission.” – Andrew Losowsky, Head of Coral by VoxMedia
“We integrated Perspective in our CMS to moderate the comments in our sports and financial newspapers. We decreased the human moderation by 60 percent. We are saving, at least, two hours per day and are very satisfied with the results. It also improved the comments quality in our websites and the engagement with our users.” – Nuno Alves, Online Technical Director, Cofina Media
“At FACEIT, we’ve embarked on a mission to directly address toxicity and harassment in gaming. With our community of players growing and evolving, we needed to build effective solutions able to work at scale. Perspective provided us with the perfect toxicity model that we used as a baseline to build on our anti-toxicity engine.” – Maria Laura Scuri, Director of Business Intelligence, FACEIT
Through its partnerships, Jigsaw has also trained Perspective in new languages, making the machine learning model better positioned to improve conversations online on a global scale – it is currently available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese. Some of Perspective’s partners include: El Pais, Le Monde, Cofina and several other publishers who understand the importance of hosting good-quality conversations on their platforms, in diverse languages.
Jigsaw is also continuously working with partners to explore ways to mitigate bias in machine learning. Please read some of Jigsaw’s recent research here.
Read more about Perspective and try it out in the third edition of The Current.
Jigsaw is a unit within Google that forecasts and confronts emerging threats, creating future-defining research and technology to keep our world safer.