The menace of hate speech which has become a trend in Nigeria will soon be a thing of the past as a team of three individuals develop an app to tackle hate speech in the country.
The team of three members; Sadiq Adebisi, Omolara Oshinowo and Lubem Ntile developed the idea after a three days Hate Speech Hackathon which was organized by Mercy Corps and GHR Foundation with the aim of eradicating hate Speech in Nigeria.
According to Faye Mooney, Communications and Reporting Specialist, Mercy Corps Nigeria at the end of the hackathon, the application detects hate speech.
The application also has a feature that makes users identify hate speech through a points-based game.
Mooney said, “The developed app is a hate speech detection and prediction system application that responds to this problem. It uses machine learning and bots to gather information from news sites and social media posts.
“App users are critically involved in the identification of hate messages through a points-based game, ultimately training the machine to understand hate speech patterns”.
The team emerged winner after pitching the idea in the Hackathon and won the cash prize of $2000 cash prize and a chance to have their idea developed by Mercy Corps.
A prize of $1000 was also awarded to a hate-speech sensitization project, focused on education centres in hard-to-reach communities.
Country Director of Mercy Corps Nigeria and one of the judges at the hackathon, Darius Radcliffe said “Hate Speech is not a new problem, but it’s a problem that has changed form in recent years due to the growing availability of new technologies and social media.
He continued, “As we see hate speech emerge as a conflict dynamic in the areas we work in. We strongly believe in finding creative solutions to the challenges we face and the hackathon was an amazing event that opened our eyes to many new ideas”.
The three-day event brought together print journalists, radio broadcasters, peace and conflict experts, private sector organizations, techies, researchers, and youth organizations from all over the country to come up with outside-the-box solutions to hate speech in Nigeria.