YIG mines, hacks negative comments to turn into Insults

Have you tried using Google Translate to translate something obscene/vulgar directed at someone else? Google translates the obscene phrase, in the chosen language, with one change – instead of directing the phrase at the said person, it directs the translation on the person asking the translation. It’s Google’s way of turning obscenity for others, as the insult for the person who has put in the phrase in the first place.

Adrian Holovaty, founder of EveryBlock, has created a similar service for Youtube, called the YouTube Insult Generator. The Youtube Insult Generator is a data mining hack (sourcing existing data and modifying it) that searches through the negative comments on the website for a specific term. The negative comments are the ones directed at the people who have clicked ‘dislike’ for a certain video.

Using the YouTube API to find videos relevant to the term you type in, the YIG search engine filters the last 50 comments to find the ones that start with a number (the number of dislikes), followed by a word such as “people,” “youtubers” etc. It then replaces the number with the word “You” and displays a list of insults.

The basic idea of the YIG is to convert the negative or insulting comments, targeted at any person, pointed back to the commenter. For instance, if someone searches ‘BradPitt’ and the YIG mines some negative comments, like “Brad Pitt has too much time on your hands”, then the YIG replaces BradPitt with ‘You’, and displays ‘You have too much time on your hands’.

But whom is the insult is targeted at, the commentor or the searcher?. If one takes into account that the name of the commentor is not shown in the hacked comment; and the searcher sees only the original comment, when he/she hits the # symbol at the end of the hacked comment,then the hacked comment or insult appears to be for the searcher at YIG. Which is after all true as well, why will any person want to read negative comments about others in the first place!

On second thought, the YIG appears to be more like the Google Translator. --------

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