An Open Source Harassment Manager By Google For Journalists

Google’s Harassment manager is an open-source anti-harassment program. Google poises to provide the source code for this program. This program assists female journalists, public personalities, and activists. It particularly focuses on those who cover contentious themes or live in authoritarian regimes, in dealing with online abuse. The service uses Jigsaw’s Perspective API, which allows users to sort through potentially offensive remarks on social media platforms, starting with Twitter. In June, the release will take place as source code for developers to build on. Following it is a functional application for Thomson Reuters Foundation journalists.

google's harassment manager

More about Google’s Harassment Manager 

According to reports, The Harassment Manager functions well with Twitter’s API to integrate moderation choices. Hide tweet replies, mute or block users, as well as a bulk filtering and reporting mechanism are among the moderating options. Threats, insults, and vulgarity are among the aspects that the software is known to scan for in online conversations. According to reports, it organizes messages into queues on a dashboard and allows users to respond to them in batches rather than one by one using Twitter’s normal moderation tools. In addition to utilizing the automatically produced queues, users can obscure such messages when moderating so they don’t have to read them. They can also run a keyword search in addition to using the automatically formed queues.

Users can also get a separate report that comprises all of the abusive texts, in addition to the many benefits the new Harassment Manager Tool offers. According to reports, this will be useful in creating a paper trail for their employer or, in the case of illegal information such as direct threats, law enforcement, or other needs. Users will not be able to download a standalone program for the time being. Instead, developers can freely create apps that incorporate its capabilities, and partners like the Thomson Reuters Foundation will launch services that use it.

When did the Harassment manager of Google come to light?

The reveal of the Harassment manager was on International Women’s Day. As said earlier, it is particularly pertinent to female journalists who endure gender-based abuse. The International Women’s Media Foundation and the Committee to Protect Journalists, as well as journalists and activists with substantial Twitter presences, said in a Medium article that they hope developers will modify it for other social media users who may be at risk. “Our objective is that our technology provides a resource for those who are experiencing online harassment, especially female journalists, activists, politicians, and other public figures, who deal with disproportionately high toxicity online,” the team writes.

Before Google

Google isn’t the only company to use these technologies to provide automated moderating. Tune is a browser extension developed in 2019. It assisted social media users in avoiding coming into contact with messages that had a high potential of being harmful. In order to assist human moderation, there are claims of the employment of browser plugins by several commenting systems. However, as we reported around the time of Tune’s release, the language analysis model has a history of displaying errors. This implies that it is far from perfect.

Jigsaw-style AI can accidentally correlate phrases like “blind” or “deaf”. These aren’t always bad — with toxicity, misclassifying satirical content, or failing to detect abusive remarks. Jigsaw has been chastised for tactics that some argue demonstrate a harmful workplace atmosphere. However, Google refuted these charges.



Harassment Manager isn’t a platform-side moderation feature, unlike other AI-powered moderation services you may have seen on Twitter and Instagram. It appears to be a sorting tool for dealing with the sometimes overwhelming volume of social media comments. Also, it could be useful for individuals outside of the journalistic industry – even if they can’t use it right now.

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