Indore: A group of engineering and management students won national-level ‘Peer-to-Peer Challenge Extremism Competition’ bagging awards and recognition from the organisers.
Adding $2,000 to their collection, the team members celebrated their victory and felt motivated to take on more projects for reclaiming internet.
Talking about the event, software developer Atharva Mungee said, “We came across the competition online where we realised that it fitted our ideas for an internet project.” They had been working on an idea for filtering news on internet through an extension.
“Participating in such a competition meant we needed a big team,” social media manager Devansh Jain said. Floating a message about it in his peer group, he found some members who were willing to join the project.
“We were already sponsored but competition sounded exciting so we decided to enter and take it as a challenge,” content developer Aastha Hurkat said. Studying the idea of filtering internet information, they further discussed it with their team leader Aditya Awasthi.
“We had to run an online and offline campaign challenging extremism,” team member Pavan Mishra said. He explained that the competition was judged based on reach and not the idea.
“Our project was based on inappropriate content present on the internet,” team member Hussain Shoaib said. We boosted our reach by connecting with groups in college and conducting offline events.
Among top three campaigns national competition, the team had to prepare for final round that was held in Delhi on January 25.
Other two teams in the finals were from Chandigarh University and Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, Jammu and Kashmir.
“Presentation was not a challenge, rather getting to a reach that bagged us the prize was tough,” Atharva said. Gathering their team and college-mates to boost their project reaching over one lakh people, the team was announced as winners.
What was the project?
We created a chrome extension which allows user to flag extremist content such as death/violent threats, hate speech, defamation and attempts at radicalisation that carries a racist, sexist, xenophobic and/or religious extremist undertone. The extension will create a pool of extremist content (flagged by users) and analyse the said data to identify patterns in the content, towards developing an A-I platform that can automate the flagging process in the future.