Facebook patent details software idea that detects internet slang

By @s_rituparna on
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Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, speaks on the stage at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 21, 2016. Reuters/Albert Gea

A “social glossary” for Facebook? A new patent from the social networking giant seems to indicate that Facebook is developing a software idea that would scan its website for internet slang.

The newly patented software would enable the social network to look for frequently used slang terms and group them into a “social glossary.” The patent application was granted in February, reports Business Insider.

The patent is for a software that will help Facebook scrutinise posts and comments with abbreviated terms commonly used by younger users on social media, including those not part of the English Dictionary and which fall under neologisms.

Some widely used popular internet slangs include LOL (laugh out loud) and OMG (oh my god), but these have expanded to 'OH' (Overhead) and 'YAASSSSSS'. With the help of its software, Facebook would be able to detect repeated occurrences of these terms and make a glossary out of it.

According to the patent, Facebook will look for slang, abbreviations, acronyms, names, nicknames and other types of coined words and phrases. The system will identify terms, make sure that they are not associated with a known meaning or correspond to a definition and then add them to the “social glossary.”

Words losing out on popularity will automatically be removed.

There may also be an interface allowing users to add, remove and even edit words and phrases in the glossary. For the time being, however, the software is still just a concept and there is no confirmation yet that Facebook will actually implement the system.  

The patent filing also does not clarify what the company would achieve by compiling these terms and phrases, although us older people may find it useful when we chance upon a word like 'ceebs' or 'bae' and don't really trust Urban Dictionary.

In related news, an Indian security researcher named Anand Prakash has identified a major flaw in Facebook's account security. After fixing the bug, Facebook awarded him $15,000 for reporting the issue.

According to The Verge, since the inception of the bug bounty program in 2011, the social networking giant has paid more than $4.3 million to over 800 researchers.

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