This Norwegian site has an ingenious way to stop internet trolls in their tracks

Joe Vesey-Byrne
Thursday 02 March 2017 13:15
Science and Tech
Picture:(iStock)

We've all read comments like this:

"Hitler was a socialist".

It's these reductive and often ill-informed comments that are a trademark of, well, the internet in general.

More often than not, the instruction 'Tell us what you think in the comment section' is a guarantor that the article itself will not be discussed at all.

One website has come up with a way of screening the section for potential trolls.

In involves a short test before readers are able to leave a comment.

NRKbeta, the tech website of the Norwegian public broadcaster, introduced the quiz system in February.

Before you cry: 'The media elite!', this will not be a quiz on the Epic of Gilgamesh, or other things from Radio 4.

Instead, NRKbeta simply expects readers to answer some simple questions about the article they just read.

At the head of the comment section, NRKbeta writes (translated from Norwegian)

Would you like to comment? Reply to a quiz from the case!

We are concerned with the quality of our comments section. Therefore we want to ensure that anyone who commented actually reading matter. Answer the questions below to unlock the comments.

As the questions are based on information from the article, it is intended to ensure people read the piece before commenting on it.

Three questions the NKRbeta asked on an article regarding 'StalkScan' 22/02/16.(Picture: NKRbeta/Screengrab)

Journalist at NKRbeta told Nieman Lab.

We thought we should do our part to try and make sure that people are on the same page before they comment.

If everyone can agree that this is what the article says, then they have a much better basis for commenting on it.

The site's editor also said that the time taken to complete the quiz also allows readers to 'cool off' for fifteen seconds or so, hopefully meaning they will think twice before they post.

News organisations have struggled with the degree to which they should police their comment sections on their site, and how to build a 'community' of readers.

According to Fortune, Google's company Alphabet is developing 'Perspective', a tool for moderating comments that uses artificial intelligence.

HT NiemanLab

More: Gotta date them all? Tindr is taking notes from Pokemon Go

Trending