A hate-free snapshot of a YouTube video AFTER installing Blok.it
A snapshot of a hateful YouTube comment BEFORE installing Blok.it
In today's always-on world, we are more connected than ever. The internet is an amazing way to connect to those close to us, however it is also used to spread hateful messages to others. Our inspiration was taken from a surprisingly common issue among YouTubers and other people prominent on social media: That negative comments (even from anonymous strangers) hurts more than people realise. There have been cases of YouTubers developing mental illnesses like depression as a result of consistently receiving negative (and hateful) comments on the internet. We decided that this overlooked issue deserved to be brought to attention, and that we could develop a solution not only for these individuals, but the rest of us as well.
What it does
Blok.it is a Google Chrome extension that analyzes web content for any hateful messages or content and renders it unreadable to the user. Rather than just censoring a particular word or words, the entire phrase or web element is censored. The HTML and CSS formatting remains, so nothing funky happens to the layout and design of the website.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
Working with Chrome extensions was something very new to us and we had to learn some new JS in order to tackle this challenge. We also ran into the issue of spending too much time deciding on an idea and how to implement it.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Managing to create something after starting and scraping multiple different projects (this was our third or fourth project and we started pretty late)
What we learned
Learned how to make Chrome Extensions Improved our JS ability learned how to work with a new group of people (all of us are first time hackathon-ers and none of us had extensive software experience)
What's next for Blok.it
Improving the censoring algorithms. Most hateful messages are censored, but some non-hateful messages are being inadvertently marked as hateful and being censored as well. Getting rid of these false positives is first on our list of future goals.