Candide, Google wants to hide toxic comments on the web with a Chrome extension


On Chrome, Google wants to offer an extension that can hide comments deemed toxic on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube or Disqus. An interesting initiative, but one that already raises questions.

This is a debate that comes up regularly: many malicious people use the space dedicated to comments on various websites to convey toxic words. Google wants to give users the ability to hide comments that are problematic with an extension for its Chrome browser still in the experimental phase.
The plug-in is called Tune and its purpose is to make sure you can "control the volume" of comments on YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook or Disqus and filter as you please the content considered unhealthy by the algorithm that drives the extension. It is indeed necessary to know that Tune takes again several elements of the API Perspective already used by Google to identify the toxic remarks.

The operation is quite simple: if you are on YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook or a news site that uses Disqus for its comments section – FrAndroid for example – you just have to click on the icon. Tune and use the knob to "lower" or "increase" the volume of comments.

You can opt for a toxicity filter, the basic option, or a more precise filter (still very experimental) offering control over the visibility of insults, attacks on the identity of a group of people, threats or sexually explicit content.
The initiative can be perceived as quite noble, but it necessarily raises questions. Should we really trust Google's algorithm? Is this one infallible? And more generally, one can also wonder if Tune favors by the effect "bubble of filters" often observed on the web which consists of the confinement of the Net surfers in circles where everyone thinks the same thing.
In French, it is not yet in point
We briefly tested the extension on YouTube and FrAndroid. The potentiometer is supposed to offer several levels of filters, but for comments in French, the algorithm leaves, in fact, only two possibilities: erase everything or display all.
                  
That is not very relevant.
            
                
                
                    
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