Online harassment is a growing, challenging social issue. One famous project that spoke to us was the "Cloud to Butt" Chrome extension. We decided to extend that functionality in a way that could help combat online harassment.

What it does

It tries to solve a social issue (bullying online) with a social solution (humor). It detects offensive words and phrases and attempts to replace them with humorous alternatives, to take the sting out of them.

How we built it

As our team had never created a browser extension before, we first had to look into that process. We then extended a publicly available plugin for "cloud to butt" to include many words and phrases that we identified as offensive.

Challenges we ran into

Offensive language proved pretty difficult to identify. We found a repository of bad tweets through the #HackHarassment website, and proceeded to extract words and phrases from that. One thought that we had to cover more material faster was to use regular expressions instead of strings. This caused a lot of problems in JavaScript, as it took a lot of work and reading to figure out how to implement that. It also added a challenge in building the dataset. Finally, once we were able to implement regexes in JS, we found that our regexes were too greedy, which required a little more work to fully implement.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

This was a great JS learning experience for the whole team. We also developed a strong team bond that will last beyond the scope of this hackathon. Finally we were able to finish a product in a weekend, which is no small task.

What we learned

JS. Also that people in the hacking community are eager to help us out when we are stuck. Also hackathons are really fun!

What's next for My Butt Plugin

User interface (for more user customization), support larger databases (time cost? How to construct?), data analytics (collect harassment data), website, machine learning (to more accurately assess sentences... NLP?), tackling more social issues (what other social solutions can we automate?).

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