Quantcast
return Home

Google gets in on publishers’ online comments section game

Google logo ()

In recognising to the potential value of – but also challenges of managing – online comment sections on publisher websites, Google Digital News Initiative (GNI) has launched Perspective, an API “that helps online platforms and publishers host better conversations”. The news comes soon after we wrote extensively about the topic, quoting The Coral Project and Civil Company and asking if it is time for publishers to rethink comment sections.

The Coral Project is a collaborative open source project between The Washington Post, The New York Times and Mozilla, while Civil Co is a private company.

According to Google GNI, “many readers and publishers share the ideal of the internet as a global forum for comment, debate and challenging ideas. But in practice, maintaining this ideal has not always been easy” – referring to challenges with managing comment sections to prevent trolling, outright abuse and more. For publishers, this can result in less engaged readers and a diminished sense of reader community. It’s a serious business challenge.

“It’s also a technological challenge that Google has decided to tackle. Thanks for advancements in machine learning, we’ve been able to build models that can analyse text and score it based on historic data and its perceived impact on conversation.”

According to DNI, the Perspective API gives access “to these models, starting with a ‘toxicity’ score (i.e. whether a comment should be perceived as ‘toxic’ to a discussion. Publishers can use this score to give real-time feedback to commenters, help moderators do their job, or allow readers to easily find relevant information. Our hope is that Perspective will become a key part of publishers’ ability to analyse comment language at scale, and thus facilitate an open and constructive commenting community.”

Those interested in being listed for Perspective API access can contact the Google DNI team via digitalnewsinitiative@google.com. The team can also be contacted via perspective-dni-support@google.com for queries, feedback, new ideas and thoughts.

“We’re looking forward to working together to help publishers turn comments back on, increase reader engagement, and try to fulfil the ideal of the internet,” Google DNI says in their statement.

More like this

[Long read] Time to rethink the (often maligned) comment section?

Social media 'leaves publishers in the dust, connecting people around stories'

  • What to expect as Hearst Magazines' new Airbnbmag hits the streets Chief content officer Joanna Coles discusses the premiere edition of Airbnbmag, its celebration of global community and the future of travel. 22nd May 2017 MagWorld
  • Eight lessons from Cosmopolitan on publishing to Snapchat Discover One of the lessons for Cosmopolitan following the brand’s wildly successful launch on Snapchat Discover just short of 2.5 years ago was that “you have to dig beyond analytics to find out what [users] are saying about your editions and what they really care about”. 22nd May 2017 MagWorld
  • Inside The Business of Fashion In the space of only a decade, The Business of Fashion has grown from a blog to multi-channel business servicing a global professional community in the millions through a website, newsletters, social media, print magazine and membership programme, with clear, diversified revenue model and each stream contributing meaningfully to the overall top line. 23rd May 2017 MagWorld
  • GroupM report highlights factors impacting the publishing industry We may have reached peak anxiety in many corners of the media world. Despite their best efforts, a number of publishers are failing to accelerate their digital revenues fast enough to offset the cost of legacy operations and falling advertiser demand. 17th May 2017 MagWorld
  • How a 2015 FIPP Rising Stars award winner continues to make her mark Since 2015 when she was one of FIPP and UPM’s three first ever Rising Stars in Global Media winners, Francesca Wilson’s career has followed a rapid upward trajectory. Here she shares what she’s doing now, advice for others making their mark on media, and why Rising Stars is an opportunity for her peers (and top bosses to recognise the work of valuable employees). 19th May 2017 Rising Stars
Go to Full Site