The Atlantic

A Bot That Identifies 'Toxic' Comments Online

A Google-funded algorithm flags messages that are likely to drive others away from a conversation.
Source: Karen Bleier / AFP / Getty

Civil conversation in the comment sections of news sites can be hard to come by these days. Whatever intelligent observations do lurk there are often drowned out by obscenities, ad-hominem attacks, and off-topic rants. Some sites, like the one you’re reading, hide the comments section behind a link at the bottom of each article; many others have abolished theirs completely.

One of the few beacons of hope in the morass of bad comments shines at

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