An Irish company has launched a free tool aimed at combating homophobia online.
The #LoveWins tool filters online content, searching web pages for homophobic or transphobic comments and replacing them with positive wording.
The tool was developed by an award-winning innovation studio, Connector, to celebrate Pride 2017.
Connector’s head of digital Ivan Adriel said the company produced the #LoveWins tool because of the high levels of online abuse targeted at LGBT people.
“The LGBT Ireland report published last year showed LGBT people continue to experience victimisation and harassment in their day-to-day lives.
“One in five LGBT people have had hurtful things written about their sexual identity on social media, with that figure rising to one in three for transgender and intersex people,” he said.
Mr Adriel pointed to statistics from US gay rights organisation GLSEN which show 42% of LGBT youth have experienced cyber bullying, 58% have experienced negative online comments because of their sexuality and over one third have received online threats.
“The high levels of online bullying and harassment can have a very negative impact on the mental health of LGBT people,” he said.
“Our #LoveWins filter is aimed at making the internet a more loving and tolerant place this Pride season, and protecting LGBT people from the unnecessary negativity and abuse that they are often subjected to online.”
The tool is designed to search web pages for LGBT slurs. When it finds them, it then moves to make them disappear by replacing them with positive adjectives celebrating what people in the LGBT community are: proud, courageous, fearless, friendly.
It also decorates the replacement words with the Pride colours.
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