The #LoveWins 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.
To celebrate Pride month, Connector, an Irish company, has created a plugin for Chrome that seeks out homophobic rhetoric and replaces negative phrases with positive ones.
The #LoveWins plugin aims to counteract the harassment and bullying which LGBT+ people can experience online.
The company’s Head of Digital, Ivan Adriel, pointed out the mental health benefits which such a tool could engender since “one in five” LGBT+ people have experienced harassment on social media.
“The high levels of online bullying and harassment can have a very negative impact on the mental health of LGBT people,” Adriel said.
“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.”
Bullying is not a new phenomenon for LGBT+ people and the rise of the internet and social media has created a new space in which bullying can take place.
LGBT+ youth are particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying, with 42% of them having experienced such harassment online according to statistics from GLSEN.
“One in five LGBT people have had hurtful things written about their sexual identity on social media, with that figure rising to one in three for transgender and intersex people,” said Adriel.
“Connecter 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.”
How #LoveWins Works
According to Adriel, the tool searches web pages for LGBT+ slurs and replaces them with positive adjectives “celebrating what people in the community are: proud, courageous, fearless, friendly.”
The tool also decorates the replacement words with Pride colours so users can identify when it’s being put to work.
Check out this video of #LoveWins in action.
The #LoveWins plugin for Chrome can be downloaded here.
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