Social Media Abuse Research Tool (SMART) (Round 6)

United Kingdom Project type: prototype University of Sunderland


The aim of the SMART project is to create a user-friendly app to help journalists investigate social media abuse and hate speech. The project – a collaboration between journalism and computing specialists at the University of Sunderland – will make a prototype, open-source tool that will be usable by journalists with no knowledge of coding or programming. The app will capture, quantify and analyse large amounts of data, allowing users to filter according to timeframes, social media feeds, types of abuse and other factors. As such it will help journalists find and research stories on this important social issue.

The solution

Masses of hate speech, threats and abuse are published on social media everyday - posing one of the major social problems of our generation. Journalists need to report this – telling stories, analysing and challenging policy makers. But the issue is complex due to the huge volume and fast-moving nature of content. Most reporters do not have the computing skills to tackle this well, while some have worked with computing specialists to capture and analyse data. Our prototype aims to help journalists work independently, giving them with a user-friendly tool to report more effectively this subject of public interest.