To clamp down on the misuse and abuse of social media and promote fair use of language, the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) in Mysore has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bombinate Technologies Pvt. Ltd., the holding company of India’s multi-lingual micro-blogging platform – Koo.
CIIL, which was established by the Government of India to coordinate the development of Indian languages, will work jointly with the Koo App to strengthen its content moderation policies and help users stay safe and secure online. This collaboration will work towards safeguarding users from online abuse, bullying and threats, and build a transparent and conducive ecosystem.
Through the collaboration, CIIL will create a corpus of expressions including words, phrases, abbreviations and acronyms that are considered offensive or sensitive across 22 languages of the VIII scheduled of the Constitution of India. In turn, the Koo App will share relevant data to create the corpus and provide technological support to build interfaces that will host the corpus for public access.
This is a long-term collaboration for developing responsible use of Indian languages on social media and it will be valid for two years by providing users with a secure and immersive networking experience across languages.
The path-breaking exercise between CIIL and the Koo App aims to develop dictionaries of words and expressions in Indian languages that are considered offensive, disrespectful or derogatory, enabling efficient content moderation in these languages. This kind of initiative has not been implemented before in the Indian context.
Welcoming this development, Prof. Shailendra Mohan, Director, CIIL observed that enabling Indian language users to communicate on the Koo platform is, in fact, a manifestation of the right to equality and freedom of speech, which are our much-revered constitutional values.
The MoU between CIIL and Koo is an effort towards ensuring that the use of social media, particularly the Koo App, comes with verbal/ textual hygiene and it is free of inappropriate language and abuse.
Encouraging this initiative of Koo towards creating a pleasant and safe environment for social media posts, Prof. Mohan said that the efforts of the Koo App are worthy of appreciation. Therefore, CIIL will provide language consultancy through corpus and strengthen the hands of the Koo team in realizing the goal of achieving responsible and sanitized social media interactions.
Throwing light on this collaboration, Aprameya Radhakrishna, Co- founder & CEO, Koo App said, “As a unique social media platform that enables Indians to engage and connect across multiple languages, we seek to empower our users by enhancing the ecosystem such that online misuse and abuse is curbed in an effective manner. We want our users to leverage the platform to converse with people across linguistic cultures, meaningfully. We are pleased to partner with the reputed Central Institute of Indian Languages to build this corpus, and to make the interconnected world much more safe, trustworthy and reliable for internet users.”
As an inclusive platform for self-expression in native Indian languages, the Koo App currently offers its innovative features across nine languages, and will soon expand to cover all the 22 official Indian languages. Through this collaboration with CIIL, the Koo App will develop a deep and nuanced understanding of the logic, grammar and context of words that are used in native languages, especially on social media; while parallelly helping identify offensive terms and phrases that can lead to discord and online bullying.
This understanding will enhance the content moderation practice at the micro-blogging platform and assist users to curate more engaging content in their respective languages; thus consolidating Koo’s position as India’s leading multi- language social media platform.