Here’s a neat idea — a filter for detecting stupidity in online communications and filtering it out.
StupidFilter was conceived out of necessity. Too long have we suffered in silence under the tyranny of idiocy. In the beginning, the internet was a place where one could communicate intelligently with similarly erudite people. Then, Eternal September hit and we were lost in the noise. The advent of user-driven web content has compounded the matter yet further, straining our tolerance to the breaking point.
It’s time to fight back.
The solution we’re creating is simple: an open-source filter software that can detect rampant stupidity in written English. This will be accomplished with weighted Bayesian analysis and some rules-based processing, similar to spam detection engines. The primary challenge inherent in our task is that stupidity is not a binary distinction, but rather a matter of degree. To this end, we’re collecting a ranked corpus of stupid text, gleaned from user comments on public websites and ranked on a five-point scale.
Eventually, once the research is completed, we plan to release core engine source code for incorporation into content management systems, blogs, wikis and the like. Additionally, we plan to develop a fully implemented Firefox plugin and a WordPress plugin.
More power to their elbows, as we say in Ireland. And if you’re puzzled by the reference to ‘eternal September’, see the helpful Wipipedia entry. Basically, it’s shorthand for what AOL did to online discourse.