Stupidity Filter

I approve of this project! I know it’s been on /. and on digg, and probably 16 other sites. I don’t care. I still want to talk about it, so deal with it. I’m sitting here wondering why I haven’t thought about it before. Filtering stupidity using Bayesian filters and other tools created to combat spam is fucking brilliant.

It is also elitist, condescending and kinda funny which makes it even more awesome. I mean, can you imagine what would happen if they implemented this on Youtube?

“We’re sorry but your comment appears to be stupid. Please rephrase it.”

And the best part is that you can easily defeat the filter by writing full sentences in coherent English. So it’s not a censorship tool – it doesn’t enforce certain point of view or ideological system on you. It just forces you to at least try to express yourself in what resembles regular human communication protocol, instead of producing some Youtube brand stream of consciousness “I don’t even understand what I typed there” kind of comment. So the point you are trying to make can still be stupid – what matters, is how you present it.

And this is really what internet discourse really is about. If you agree with me, you are intelligent, educated and well rounded person. If you disagree you are wrong, and ignorant but as long as you are civil and coherent we can debate the matter till you agree with me or we both get bored.

Seriously, when was the last time that you debated a controversial topic with someone on the internet and in the end they said: “OMG, you are so right! I was wrong about this all these years!” I mean, unless you are a chick, and the person admitting to being wrong is a dude who wants to get in your pants, this shit almost never happens. ;)

That’s not to say that all discussion on the internet is futile. It can be interesting, as evidenced by quite a few threads on this very blog. In fact, Terminally Incoherent seems to exist in some packet dimension where most regulars make insightful and/or funny comments. Even during Digg incrusions the overal quality of the discussion is not that bad. Well, maybe with the exception of comment #4643. That one is pretty much perfect sample set for this filter btw!

Funny thing is that people who would actually use this kind of a filter with extreme prejudice and for great justice (eg. me using it for shits and giggles) are usually the ones that don’t really need it. Those who need it quite desperately (eg. Youtube, Myspace) probably wouldn’t use it because they wouldn’t want to alienate users, no matter how stupid they might be.

in before intentionally stupid comments

[tags]stupidfilter, stupidity filter, stupidity, youtube, stupid comments, Bayesian, filtering[/tags]

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4 Responses to Stupidity Filter

  1. Chris UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    This is actually quite interesting as well as brilliant, which you already stated. To me, this is much like “baptism by fire” where the internet slams the “GTFO NOOB” sticker on posts that are deemed “stupid.” And over time they will learn to use correct grammar and punctuation in which they will be able to express their stupidity in coherent sentences. It really is quite ingenious.

    And elitist? Well, that’s a different subject, I assume. I mean, is it really considered elitist that people just want others to use correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling? I hardly think it’s a “I’m better than you” program than a “You just need to be better” program. (Perhaps they’re exactly the same thing and I’m just blind.)

    And lastly, I don’t know too much about implementing it within Myspace. If that happened they would lose most, if not all, of their members. Which, now that I think about it, is really sad.

    (+Two cents.)

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  2. Zack UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    This would be absolutely great to see! I would love this on gaming forums especially. I haven’t been on those in quite some time, but GOOD LORD! The crap spewing from their “mouths” was ridiculous. I think this is not only great but would make my day if someone used it!

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  3. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    @Chris – well, it’s a bit elitist because it assumes that some people are just to stupid (as evidenced by their posts) to contribute to the community. But yeah, it’s debatable. And on the internet, elitist is not always a bad thing – in fact, it usually implies quality over quantity approach.

    Heh, you are right, 99.9% of MySpace users would be hit by this filter.

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  4. A “Stupidity filter”? Are you insane? Are you trying to kill the internet? That’s even worse than suggesting a “truth filter” for all politicians. Can’t happen. Other than that, ROFLMAO! Good one!

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