The StupidFilter Project: Because the internet needs prophylactics for memetically transmitted diseases.


The Wall Street Journal reports on one Gabriel Ortiz, who has a noble project under development.

[A]n open-source filter software that can detect rampant stupidity in written English.

Using a statistical approach similar to Bayesian analysis, Mr. Ortiz has created a filter that uses his library of baseline “stupid” and “smart” texts to evaluate the intelligence level of new comments.

The StupidFilter manifesto:

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.

Visit the StupidFilter site here, and have a go on the online demo here, where you can type in your own or paste in someone else’s comment, and the filter will evaluate it for stupidity.

The StupidFilter Project: Because the internet needs prophylactics for memetically transmitted diseases.

13 Responses to “The StupidFilter Project: Because the internet needs prophylactics for memetically transmitted diseases.”

  1. yojimbo Says:

    Hell no.

    Why don’t you just go directly to Orwell’s Ministry of Truth.

    Everyone together now, internet eugenics.

    Good grief!

  2. spot_the_dog Says:

    #1 Um, I don’t think that anyone’s proposing that (a) it be set up and/or run by the government, or (b) that it be mandatory.

    It’d be like an email Spam filter, but for reading blog comments. You know, filtering out the inanity. Are Spam filters some kind of “Ministry of Truth” government plot as well?

  3. yojimbo Says:

    #2Um,It wouldn’t have to be run by the government for goodness sake. That was simply an example of a totalitarian model of thought control. You would reject a whole area of thought and comment because someone’s “model” has determined that it is not fit for primetime? JHC on a pogostick!

  4. yojimbo Says:

    #2 Um, it wouldn’t have to be a government operation. That was simply an example of totalitarian thought control. You would reject an entire body of comment because someone’s “model” has determined that it is not in your best interests to read it?

  5. spot_the_dog Says:

    #3 I do something similar by filtering my email with a Spam filter, and I don’t see that as “totalitarian thought control”. I wouldn’t like it if it were universally mandated by some Higher Power, though.

    I just thought it was a clever idea.

  6. yojimbo Says:

    Yeah, but that is spam and not thoughts and ideas by an individual regarding some specific area of inquiry or discussion.

  7. spot_the_dog Says:

    Ah well, to each his own. Still wouldn’t mind a StupidFilter that would let me read blogs but hide any comments with “BUSH LIED PEOPLE DIED” or “NO BLOOD FOR OIL” or “People who eat MEAT are NOT far off from people who like to TORTURE animals!!!11!!” and similar, out ;-)

  8. yojimbo Says:

    Yeah, I’m certainly with you on that. I didn’t read any of the links because I was too busy finding out that Tokyo Second Section closed without a bid and the S&P premium was -400 and not +800 buuuut! The guy sounds like a pretentious, smug little ass right off of some college campus. Once the province of us erudite people and all,bah! This is the type of guy who spawned all of the post-modernist, PC, campus totalitarian mindset. He sounds like one of those post-post-post-post doctoral researchers who once had the internet all to themselves before it was opened to the…….masses…..that great body of unwashed yearning for some tidbits of iformation.

  9. spot_the_dog Says:

    Fair enough – I hadn’t even thought about it being used in an “elitist” way; maybe it just struck my funny bone and sounded good due to the number of inane trolls hanging out at Andrew Bolt’s and throwing their Plastic Turkey memes around lately.

    A Plastic Turkey Filter… there’s an idea…

  10. yojimbo Says:

    Plastic Turkey and Phillip Adams filters are always welcome at the yojimbo household.

  11. yojimbo Says:

    But Charlie Sheen is just too good to block.

  12. Simple Question: When did you first go on line? « Tizona’s Weblog Says:

    [...] by Angus Dei on March 26, 2008 Spot’s Stupid Filter post got me thinking, as I read the links, about how I got started with the internet, and so I wondered [...]

  13. Rebecca H Says:

    Mohammed H. Goatfucker! I have to go with Yojimbo on this one. There are just so many ways a Stupidfilter could be abused, and I kind of resent the way Ortiz comes off: “The stupid people are clogging up the Intarwebs and drowning out us smart people!” Why is it that the “erudite” can’t have their discussions in “erudite” forums? Stupid people don’t usually go there. Oh, wait, lots of universities have those, so yes, they do. I just see the Stupidfilter being used to filter out dissenting opinions as “stupid”.

    It’s a nice idea, being able to filter out trolls and spammers from blog comments, but sometimes perfectly reasonable, fairly intelligent people say something stupid (I’m living proof). And frankly, I like to know what the more stupid and hostile are thinking, so I know how to counter.


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