The internet is a vast, unruly place that only seems to be getting more and more antagonistic with every passing day. If you want to take a break from hateful comments and browse a more tranquil internet, there’s an extension for that.
Chrome users can install Soothe, a free extension that blurs out homophobic, racist, sexist, transphobic, violent, and/or sexually violent comments and posts.
The developers behind Soothe say that their goal is to “prevent online harassment and help users avoid seeing triggers while they browse the web.”
It blurs out anything that might be considered offensive in real-time and works on all sites. If you’re tired of seeing nasty comments on Facebook or Twitter, installing this extension might be a good way to get rid of some negativity in your life.
How does it actually work? Using sentiment analysis, Soothe remove content based on surrounding context.
How well does it work? Let’s just say it’s not perfect. For example, a tweet about a thwarted bomb attack in the Egyptian city of Alexandria was blurred out for violent content, of which there was none.
While the concept is great, the algorithm isn’t always completely accurate, and content that could easily be considered acceptable will sometimes get caught in the net. For some people, that may be a price they’re willing to pay to avoid triggers that make the internet a tough medium to browse.
What do you think of Soothe? Is it a step in the right direction or are is it better to be aware of the realities around us? Let us know in the comments.