Aligarh Muslim University team wins $5000 Facebook funding for idea to counter extremist narrative

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Published: November 19, 2017 6:32:23 PM

A team of students from Aligarh Muslim University has brought laurels to its college by winning $5000 in funding from a challenge sponsored by Facebook.

Digital Masala Challenge, Aligarh Muslim University, Facebook funding, AMU students get Facebook funding, internet extremismA team of students from Aligarh Muslim University has brought laurels to its college by winning $5000 in funding from a challenge sponsored by Facebook. (Image: IE)

A team of students from Aligarh Muslim University has brought laurels to its college by winning $5000 in funding from a challenge sponsored by Facebook. The challenge, namely, Digital Masala Challenge, a hackathon, was organised by the web portal Youth Ki Awaaz. The challenge required the shortlisted teams to pitch in their ideas on how to counter the violent and extremist content on the Internet. The ideas could range from technical solutions to non-technical ones. AMU had to compete with four other colleges from across the country. The intention behind the challenge was to monitor digital spaces so that we can counter extremist content. It was AMU whose idea finally provided a viable solution to the problem. The funding won by the team of AMU, will be used in turning the idea into reality.

What was the idea that won $5000 in funding?

The team from AMU called themselves Team Moderators. The idea was about a Natural Language Processor(NLP) based browser extension that analyses the content on the Internet and then ranks them on a Polarisation Index.

How does it work?

There will be a developer dashboard of the extension which will only be accessed by a team of experts. The dashboard will contain articles based on their popularity. The articles will be ranked by the team based on how polarised the content might be. The articles will be ranked on a scale of 1-10. The only concern with ranking is the bias of the experts, who will be rating the content. Besides, there were other entries as well. A journalism and media student, Anvyaya, pitched in the idea of creating a web series. Students from Ashoka University came up with an idea of creating a bot that will help to counter the extremism. Facebook’s Public Policy Director Shivnath Thukral, who was a part of the jury at the event, said that it was important to come up with a solution that would create an immediate impact.

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