'Nasty Filter' Autocorret App Replaces Bullying Words With Kind Ones, Making Us All Stop & Think Before We Hit Send
Do you find it hard to stop yourself from gossiping about people on text or Twitter? This app may be able to help: it's an alternate keyboard that uses autocorrect to turn hurtful words into kind ones. Fulfiltret — a Swedish app with a name that apparently means "Nasty Filter" in English — is free to download, works on Android and iOS devices, and turns the more than 1,800 words that it considers unkind into something friendlier. Note that right now this app only works for the Swedish language, so unless you keep calling people a "skitstövel," you're out of luck.
Obviously, this app probably won't end online bullying among Swedes forever (and surely there is occasionally a time and place for calling someone an "asshole," or whatever the Swedish equivalent is). But Swedish insurer Göteborg och Bohuslän made the app to get people to at least reconsider hitting send on a message that's possibly hurtful before they launch it out into the world. And even though I'm not an online troll or a high school Snapchat bully, I have to admit: Even I could benefit from something like this. For me, the problem is less overt bullying and more mindless gossiping with other friends. Sometimes, we all say (or type) things without thinking them through — and if we were given just a moment's chance to reconsider using that language, we might not use those kinds of words at all.
Check out the clever commercial for the app (man, why are Swedish commercials always so much better than ours?), helpfully translated into English for those of you who didn't get riled up by my casual use of the word "skitstövel":
The app's creators made this app because they "want to get more people to think before they act, changing the increasingly cold climate online where threats and abuse are sent without a thought," according to Nasty Filter's press release. "Where hurtful comments and messages affect many kids every day and lead to psychological suffering and a feeling of exclusion." Weirdly, apparently Swedish kids receive the least amount of bullying among Western countries — though perhaps that's because they're willing to have dialogues like this to address it.
It's important to remember, however, that online bullying is not just an issue that affects kids — sometimes, adults could use a filter over messages they share, too. My Facebook newsfeed in the 16 months leading up to a presidential election is proof enough of that.
Images: Mo Riza/Flickr