We can probably universally agree that we all want to avoid online trolls. Toning down on the negativity we come across on social media, comments, etc. online would generally be nice, right? Well, that’s what Google’s thinking too. Their latest Chrome experimental extension called “Tune” aims to let you control the amount of negativity you want to be exposed to online.
So, what does Tune do? It allows you to control the amount of “negative” content you come across on popular sites and services. From dialing back on only the most negative comments and posters identified by Google to turning off any comments. You control the amount of commentary you want to be exposed to. It also screens for profanity, that’s customizable. The new extension is enabled for all Google services including YouTube as well as Disqus, Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter.
It’s interesting for sure and if perfected, it could be a key to balancing social media use without the negative feeling most users experience along the way. Additionally, if trolls are effectively not being responded to, you might imagine they would stop trolling. That’s all of the good stuff.
However, there is a but. Once again this comes down to the engineers at Google who program this extension. How are they determining positive and negative or toxic content algorithmically? Can they be trusted in a hyper-partisan time? At its best, it could be great. At its worst, well is MAGA a four-letter word? Time will tell.
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