Online harassment is a term for harassment over the internet. It can have real life consequences from trauma, depression and on extreme cases even death. Learn more about it here. According to the, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 4400 people commit suicide every-year due to cyber bullying (online harassment). Reference: https://nobullying.com/six-unforgettable-cyber-bullying-cases/
Online harassment has been growing and as facebook has the biggest network of social communication, we believed the first step in this big movement would be to stop it here.
What it does
It goes through your news feed on timely manner and figures out cases of online harassment. Our application looks at images as well as texts and filters out profane content. It notifies you via email right then so that you can take immediate action. For each post, there is a 'bad' score associated for the person who is harassing. Once the user confirms, they are being harassed, the score of the person harassing increases. Once the score reaches a threshold, we block the user from using facebook.
Our app also has a chrome extension, that can be used to protect the viewer from viewing any profane content on Facebook. Facebook is widely used amongst all age groups, including children. Hence we feel that protecting them from any profane content is of utmost importance.
How I built it
We used facebook API for users to login and give permissions to view their timeline content. We used facebook graph api to get all the information, including images, text content, user details.
We send the images and text to microsoft azure api "Content Moderator". Content moderator flags the texts, images and looks for words and that might be offensive. It also looks at an image and filters out images that are not appropriate.
We get back the data and send a notification to the user via nodemailer asking them to take an action against a detected harassment.
We also save the post id onto the database which is used by our chrome extension to hide those contents from being viewed/rendered.
Challenges I ran into
Coming up with an idea to curb online harassment which is one of the biggest issues in the world.
We had a diverse set of people working together from different colleges and groups, but we would say it was a fun collaboration and something we all enjoyed.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Creating a product, we think will go long way and can be used to decrease online harassment to a great great extent.
Being able to collaborate work in such less time.
What I learned
Even if the idea is tough, its not true that its not possible. And even if the idea is simple, its not true that we don't face challenges. We learned how to work collaboratively, helping each other as well as working on our portion of the hack. We also learned that we have the power of making a change, all that is required is a little motivation and of course an environment like hack duke :P :D.
What's next for BigBrother
There is a lot of scope for BigBrother. First thing is BigBrother is still learning and with time we expect it to detect lesser false positives. Another thing BigBrother ultimately looks forward to doing is curb harassment of many other online platforms like twitter. Right now the steps taken by BigBrother are not extreme, but harassment is a serious issue and BigBrother wishes to have more implications on the harassers in the near future.