Wright State researchers develop software to detect cyberbullying

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Wright State University researchers are developing new software that can detect cyber-bullying. 2 NEWS Jordan Bowen is Working For You to find out how they’re using the technology to track bullying and prevent it.

The new software can search social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, and detect messages that may be offensive or hurtful–and then alert the person who’s being targeted.

The team of researchers is made up of students and professors– who all want to make it easier for people to detect bullying online for themselves.

2 NEWS Reporter Jordan Bowen spoke to the Executive Director of the Knoesis Center, Amit Sheth who tells me how they detect the messages.

“The idea is that if I am being bullied then the software will already identify all the things and collect all the messages,” Sheth said. “It raises the flag and then you can take the appropriate action in the real world like going to a counselor or going to your employer.”

2 NEWS Reporter Jordan Bowen also spoke to Associate Psychology Professor Valeria Shalin who helped identify terms and phrases deemed offensive or cruel. She says it can be difficult drawing a line between what’s considered cyber-bullying and what isn’t.

“Unless we can detect it we can’t do anything about it,” Shalin said. “We know it’s a serious problem. We understand it’s consequences, but detecting it and distinguishing those fine lines. That’s very difficult and challenging, but if we can leap that hurdle and make it detectable, we’ll go a long way.”

The group has plans to test the software in a Beavercreek school, starting early next year.


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