Below the surface of all daily digital interactions, a digital war rages unseen—a war on truth, fueled by AI-generated trolling. 

Social media and online communities have become a battleground for the hearts and minds of the global populace. However, this battle is not fought with traditional weapons but through words and information, often manipulated by unseen adversaries using artificial intelligence to sow discord and misinformation.

It is in this challenging context that Identrics introduces project WASPer, a revolutionary project designed to identify and mitigate the effects of AI-generated trolling, safeguarding the integrity of online dialogues and media credibility.

What’s project WASPer?

George Orwell famously said,

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” 

“1984”, George Orwell

This prescient observation resonates profoundly in our current digital era, where control over information equates to power over public perception and opinion. Trolls, armed with AI, manipulate this power, distorting the digital narrative to shape the future according to their agenda.

The problem with AI-assisted trolling and propaganda.

WASPer emerges as a critical tool in this fight, offering a means to reclaim control over the present narrative, thereby influencing both our current understanding and future direction. By harnessing advanced AI to identify and flag troll-generated content, the project promises to enhance moderation processes, making them more efficient and scalable. 

Designed for both publishers and readers, WASPer seeks to balance the need for moderation with privacy concerns, fostering a healthier online environment.

Introducing the team behind WASPer

At the helm of this revolutionary project is a team of leaders and innovators:

  • Iva Marinova, Chief Data Scientist at Identrics, known for her profound expertise in data science; 
  • Yolina Petrova, PhD, Senior Data Scientist at Identrics, with a rich background in AI research; 
  • Dimitar Todorov, Software Architecture Manager at Identrics, who is behind the project’s software engineering feats; and 
  • Deyan Peychev, Chief Technology Officer at Identrics, guiding the technological direction. 

This quartet’s combined experience and dedication formulate the cornerstone of WASPer’s promise to deliver a working solution against digital propaganda and the spread of misinformation.

With a rich history of contributing to the data science domain—through hackathons, university courses, and direct support to startups and media—Identrics emerges as the perfect shepherd for WASPer. This foundation of knowledge and influence positions Identrics as an ideal leader in the fight against online trolling.

The mission and strategy behind WASPer

WASPer’s mission is straightforward:

  • Identifying and mitigating misinformation campaigns

By accurately spotting AI-generated disinformation, WASPer aims to cleanse the digital ecosystem of malicious content.

  • Improving online discussions

WASPer seeks to reduce the “trolling noise” that often drowns out meaningful conversation, ensuring that genuine discourse can flourish.

  • Restoring trust in media

By combating AI-based content manipulation, WASPer supports high-quality journalism, helping to rebuild public confidence in media outlets.

Moderation pipeline with WASPer for online trolling and misinformation control.

To achieve this mission, WASPer steps on an innovative twofold strategy:

  1. focusing on both the development of an intricate taxonomy to classify trolling behaviors; and 
  2. the application of cutting-edge generative architectures for detection. 

This dual-edged sword ensures a nuanced understanding of trolling activities, coupled with the technological prowess to address them effectively. This strategic combination not only anticipates the evolving tactics of digital adversaries but also equips online communities with the tools to maintain the sanctity of their spaces.

The estimated WASPer’s impact

WASPer transcends traditional moderation methods, which often require extensive human oversight and are not scalable. By focusing on AI-driven detection, the project aims to provide a multilingual solution that identifies AI-generated content, countering the trolls’ evolving tactics with state-of-the-art technology.

The implications of WASPer extend far beyond technical innovation, though, promising a significant societal impact. By empowering engineers, data scientists, and media publishers with new tools to flag and moderate trolling, WASPer aims to restore trust in online discourse. 

Its multilingual, multi-domain capabilities offer a versatile solution adaptable across various platforms, signaling a major stride towards uplifting the reader experience and restoring faith in digital content’s authenticity and reliability.

The project’s ambition is underscored by its commitment to open-source principles, inviting collaboration and innovation from the global community.

Targeted platforms and benefits

WASPer is designed with versatility in mind, aiming to serve a broad spectrum of online platforms:

Potential markets that could benefit from WASPer's hate speech, propaganda, and trolling moderation.
  • Online media outlets: Enhancing the quality of journalism by purging AI-manipulated content.
  • Comment sections: Transforming these often contentious spaces into forums for constructive dialogue.

The benefits of WASPer are manifold, offering to:

  • Limit the negative impact of bots and trolls: By reducing their presence, WASPer aims to improve the overall reader experience on digital platforms.
  • Enhance the trustworthiness of online content: Through rigorous moderation, WASPer will contribute to a more credible and reliable digital information landscape.

A Call to Action

As Identrics prepares to launch WASPer, the project stands as a testament to the power of technology to foster positive change. In tackling the scourge of AI-generated trolling, WASPer not only defends the integrity of online dialogue but also reinvigorates the very essence of social media as a space for genuine, constructive interaction.

With its launch, Identrics reaffirms its role as a leader in the fight for a cleaner, more trustworthy online world, where genuine discourse thrives and the public can engage in discussions free from manipulation and misinformation.

In this pivotal moment, we invite the global community to join in this endeavor, embracing WASPer as a key ally in the ongoing battle for a more truthful, respectful online world.

Together, we can turn the tide against disinformation, ensuring a brighter, more trustworthy future for digital discourse.

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Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them. Funded within the framework of the NGI SEARCH Project under grant agreement No 101069364