Flag offensive flame-mail with MoodWatch
MoodWatchTM is a new language tool that acts as an emotion monitor for
your email that flags aggressive language and calls it to your attention. MoodWatch can
detect aggressive, demeaning or rude language in the email you send and receive by looking
at both individual words and complete phrases.
--from the Eudora
MoodWatchTM is one of the latest "features" to come down the pipe in email
programs, namely Eudora. The
claims given above are based upon some sort of document classification system (read: it looks for
certain words and phrases, since most of the ideas in the white paper that would require parsing
for context are not implemented). Email messages are rated on a 0-3 chili pepper scale; 0 isn't actually
listed, but it's what most email will fall into. One pepper is "Better hope you know the person", which
I have never seen so far.
Two would be "Watch out, you're playing with fire chilies here". Three is "Whoa, this is the kind
of thing that might get your keyboard washed out with soap".
When my copy
of Eudora Lite 3.1 abruptly corrupted itself in some obscure way Monday morning, I wanted my email
fast. So I pulled out the installer I'd had sitting around for a few months. Since I left it in
sponsored mode, all features were turned on.
I was vaguely aware of the feature until I received an email from a non-noder friend I had
a node with. It marked it with two chili peppers on the
0-3 scale used by the system. Two peppers, FWIW, is the default level it will warn you at when
you send mail. I couldn't figure out why until I looked at the white paper on the theory behind it.
In section 5.3.2, one of the categories of words that did make it into the dictionary (because it did not
require parsing) would be sexual fetishes. I related this to the friend, along with
aspersions on the sexual experience of the guy behind the white paper. Interestingly, it didn't flag this email
at all, perhaps
because I was a bit more subtle and creative than the average flamer.
She responded with amusement and a signature that included the f-word. This was also
worth two chili peppers. We laughed about it. I find the feature amusing, because I learned
to control my temper online the hard way.
This morning, though, I noticed I received an email with three chili peppers. Who could
have sent it to me? It was my Everything Daily Report. I think it was the editor cooled
node You noders still fucking suck, but your needing my wisdoms bad. But there is no way I'm washing
EDB's keyboard out with soap.
The Eudora page on the MoodWatchTM
"feature" is available at http://www.eudora.com/email/features/moodwatch.html
Flaming: A White Paper
is available at http://www.eudora.com/presskit/pdf/Flaming_White_Paper.PDF