Inspiration

Cyberbullying is an ever prominent issue in today's community, especially among those who are young and do not understand the ramifications. Us, who have been in the victim's spot in several of these instances, aim to solve or help mitigate this issue, by creating an intelligent filtering application which provides bullies with a 'nudge' and offers replacement words to help them understand their actions. By doing this, we hope to take on the tough work and make it easier for kids after or in the same position as us.

What it does

ProLex takes a text inputted into a textbox as input. It then searches its own database of offensive words, and with each offensive word detected in the textbox input, will prompt the user in a pop-up window whether he/she really wants to send such a mean word. If the user opts to keep the word, the word will stay there, but not without giving the user a nudge to switch to a kinder word, which is selected based on the program's ability to classify contexts. The user can also select a ‘Replace’ option which then replaces the cuss word with a suggested, kinder word. Ultimately, this program scans for offensive words, interprets the context used, and nudges the user not to insult, verbally abuse, or threaten other people online.

How we built it

We built ProLex in Java, using swing graphics and File IO. This allows the user's device to locally store their "offensive words." We also built a website (local DNS) that describes and lets a user download the application at their convenience.

Challenges we ran into

Challenges that we ran into while developing our application include cross-platform integration and understanding how to apply HTML and JavaScript in different environments despite the fact that most of us were not well-versed in using the language in different scenarios. We spent a lot of time and resources integrating cross-platform integration to make our application more appealing and make it easier for users. Our biggest challenge was time-management with which we were faced with budgeting our time to most effectively solve our problems.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We were able to work effectively in a group, evenly splitting up our work and taking breaks reasonably. In the end, we were able to create a Java Application and a website. All of this was done collectively, with the inputs of all our team members.

What we learned

In this project, we learned a lot about String parsing, advanced Java swing graphics, HTML, and the ability to project a Java application over multiple platforms.

What's next for ProLex

Reading words while the program is running, not necessarily while the user is directly in the program. Next, social media integration, customized accounts which save information, and browser extensions to provide a more convenient experience for users.

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