Tech Talk: OpenWeb fighting online toxicity

The company introduced a suite of new solutions to increase the quality of conversations across its vast network and fight against violence.

Open Web CEO and co-founder Nadav Shoval  (photo credit: Courtesy)
Open Web CEO and co-founder Nadav Shoval
(photo credit: Courtesy)
 In the last few years, online discourse has become troubled. Frequently, on websites, we see trolling, toxicity and harassment.
Online conversations are run by algorithms that reward screaming over actually saying something, and discussions are driven to monopolistic platforms that amplify the loudest (or best-funded) voice in the room.
As a result, the Internet is threatening to undermine the values it was supposed to advance – freedom, democracy and trustworthy knowledge. Additionally, Facebook and Twitter are “stealing” the conversations from the publishers. The engagement rate is low for the publishers and the social networks get the spoils. That is why OpenWeb (formerly Spot.IM) is on a mission to democratize and improve conversations online.
The company introduced a suite of new solutions to increase the quality of conversations across its vast network and fight against violence.
The company is fighting alongside its partners, the publishers, for healthier conversations online and a better future for the web. The new platform utilizes AI and machine learning to incentivize healthy dialogue, decrease toxicity and create thriving, engaged communities.
The platform works with more than 700 top-tier publishers and hosts 100 million active users each month.
“Spot.IM has evolved over the years, building vibrant distributed communities outside of traditional walled gardens, and driving quality conversations on the largest publisher sites in the world,” said OpenWeb’s CEO and cofounder, Nadav Shoval.
The platform engages more than 100 million monthly active users and continues to grow as more people engage with content online.
“Our new name is a reflection of that evolution, and to our commitment to the original promise of the web as an open platform,” said Shoval.
Coinciding with its name change, OpenWeb has launched the next generation of its platform, focused on increasing the quality of conversations. “OpenWeb incentivizes quality by rewarding thoughtful interactions, providing real-time feedback, and enabling publishers to set their own community guidelines,” said the company’s SVP of product, Ido Goldberg.
The new features include quality scoring where publishers can monitor and measure the health of their communities and adjust moderation parameters to optimize quality engagement.
Commenters also earn reputation points based on how the community values their contributions, gamifying and incentivizing quality discourse.
Points give users influence, exposure and access to different features – including the ability to post instantly and create their own threads.
On real-time feedback – in addition to its just-launched “Clarity” features, OpenWeb partnered with Google to deploy nudges that encourage users to take another look at posts that may be considered toxic or in violation of the specific community guidelines.