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Alex Wants to be the Nanny State Editor

2444500954_e45274e8c6_bIt can be easy in these modern times to make an off the cuff comment or write a spur of the moment article and offend readers without intending to. Soon there will be a tool that will help you prevent that (besides having someone take your keyboard away).

Alex is a new project from developer Titus Wormer that is designed to  catch potentially insensitive language in your writing. it looks for polarizing, race related, religion inconsiderate, gender biased, or other unequal phrasing in a writer’s work. When those words are found, Alex suggests inclusive and inoffensive alternatives.

For example:


Alex is still under development, and it is currently available as a script that developers can add to their apps. There are no handy WP plugins or browser extensions at this time, alas, but Alex has been ported to a couple text editors, and Slack (the collaboration tool).

It’s still missing some words, and it will probably never be as context aware as it should be (the subtle power of adjectives often escape people, much less algorithms.). But even in an incomplete state Alex can still be a useful tool.

While incendiary writing can move crowds, pointlessly offensive (or even indifferent or biased) language can cause readers to ignore or misinterpret the message. And since the whole reason for writing is to convince as many people as possible, driving some away defeats the purpose.

Alex via TNW

image  by infomatique

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