Irish company launches #LoveWins tool to combat homophobia online

The software replaces homophobic terms with positive wording

Irish company Connector has launched a free tool which seeks to combat online homophobia. 

The #LoveWins tool filters online content by searching web pages for homophobic comments. The software then changes those comments to ones with positive wording. 

The tool was developed by innovation studio Connector to celebrate Pride 2017. Ivan Adriel, Head of Digital at Connector, said the company developed the #LoveWins tool because of the high levels of online abuse targeted at LGBT people.  

“Internationally, statistics from the US organisation GLSEN show 42% of LGBT youth have experienced cyber bullying; 58% have experienced negative online comments because of their sexuality; and over a third have received online threats. 

The high levels of online bullying and harassment can have a very negative impact on the mental health of LGBT people. Our #LoveWins filter is aimed at making the internet a more loving and tolerant place this Pride season, and protecting LGBT people from the unnecessary negativity and abuse that they are often subjected to online," he continued.

Words and terms that are altered appear in Pride colours, so the user knows text has been changed. 

“The tool is designed to search web-pages for LGBT+ slurs, and, when found, make them disappear by replacing them with positive adjectives celebrating what people in the community are: proud, courageous, fearless, friendly," explains Adriel.

“Connector is a proud supporter of the LGBT community and, this Pride, we wanted to do something to help make the internet a better place for us all.  So we created the tool we wished had existed when we were teenagers searching for our identity online.” 

The #LoveWins tool is an extension for Google Chrome that can be downloaded for free here