Filter Stupid Comments Automatically – Coming Soon

We have spam filters, okay, but what about stupidity filters? Surely there is a way to automatically distinguish between the “LOOOL u SUcK” junk and intelligent discourse? – that’s what the authors of StupidFilter must have thought when starting up the project. Here’s what they say about their task :

The solution we’re creating is simple: an open-source filter software that can detect rampant stupidity in written English. This will be accomplished with weighted Bayesian or similar analysis and some rules-based processing, similar to spam detection engines.

The software won’t actually analyze the meaning of text – instead it will look for words and phrases common in undesirable comments, poor grammar and other hints of stupidity. These and other factors will be used to produce a numerical “stupidity rating” for a given piece of text. This rating could be compared against a specified treshold to e.g. choose whether to hold a comment for moderation. There’s also a possible WordPress plugin mentioned (that’s how I discovered the site – it showed up in my plugin-related RSS feeds).

Obviously this filter could be easily bypassed (I’m sure you can figure out how 😉 ), and that’s a good thing, because it would make people think.

The StupidFilter is planned to become something akin to Akismet – an open, centralized system for checking and ranking comments, be it blogs or YouTube. But why stop there? I think it would be possible to use the same algorithms to create an application that would intercept “stupid” messages on a wide variety of channels. Say, how about MMORPG, e.g. World of Warcraft? You could filter out all the “noooobz”-bashing, whining for equipment and what not.

With sufficiently advanced software it might even be possible to do this for realtime voice chat (e.g. Teamspeak). Analyzing full sentences wouldn’t be possible because of delays this would introduce, yet catching and replacing single words seems doable. The idea is somewhat useless from the practical standpoint, but it might be interesting if you get to choose what to use as the replacement (frak, or maybe “cupcake”; use your imagination).

Should be fun.

(And if they ever get to making that anti-stupidity plugin, I’ll definitely try it out, even though I get very few stupid comments on this blog)

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