Gofore works with Cardiff University to provide scalable, cloud-based social media analytics tools for the officials and organisations fighting against the spread of online hate speech.
Cardiff University, originally established in 1893, and with its current over 30,000 enrolled students, is among the ten biggest universities in the UK. Their Social Data Science Lab conducts social data analysis for research, policy, and practise – and develops tools to serve the purpose.
Following the 2016 UK Brexit vote and the 2017 terror attacks, Britain saw a surge in hate crimes. Principal investigator, Professor Matthew Williams, said: “Our analysis shows that social media posts from the press, hate crime charities and police gain significant traction in the immediate aftermath of terrorist incidents. As a result, they have an opportunity to engage in counter-speech messaging, such as dispelling rumours and challenging stereotypes, to support victims and stop hate speech from spreading.”
Cardiff University had developed the first version of Hate Speech Dashboard to provide aggregate trends of hate speech. It had its limitations, especially on the scalability of the service. Also, overall architecture and user interface required an upgrade. The objective was to transform the solution fully onto the public cloud infrastructure to provide efficiency in operation and required scalability for the future. In January 2019, through public procurement, Gofore was awarded a contract to take over the development of the tool. The project has been funded by Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).