Female black journalists and politicians get sent an abusive tweet every 30 seconds

Twitter can be a toxic place. In recent years, trolling and harassment on the site have made it an extremely unpleasant and upsetting experience for many people, particularly women and minorities. But automatically identifying and stopping such abuse is difficult to do accurately and reliably. This is because, for all the recent progress in AI, machines generally still struggle to respond meaningfully to human communication. For example, AI usually finds it hard to pick up on abusive messages that may be sarcastic or disguised with a sprinkling of positive keywords.

A new study has used cutting-edge machine learning to get a more accurate snapshot of the scale of harassment on Twitter. Its analysis confirms what many people will already suspect: female and minority journalists and politicians face a shocking amount of abuse on the platform.

The study carried out by Amnesty International in collaboration with Canadian firm ElementAI, shows that black women politicians and journalists are 84% more likely to be mentioned in abusive or “problematic” tweets than white women in the same profession.

Read the full article on technologyreview.com.