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Is International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)’s Watson The Answer To Online Trolls?


It turns out that International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)’s Watson is helping companies tackle negative online sentiments about them more effectively than ever.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) recently shared details about how it used Watson to help an American oil company that was facing widespread online bashing over its fracking activities. An army of anti-fracking activists descended on the company on Twitter, fueling fracking propaganda that the unidentified big oil company didn’t like.

Some of those misguided views went viral immediately to the chagrin of the oil company involved. At first, IBM says the oil company wanted to immediately take to Twitter to counter those anti-fracking propaganda. However, before it could do it, the company contacted IBM for advice and it got the answer it was seeking.

Helping the oil company

What International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) did was that it brought Watson to analyze the anti-fracking tweets that were making the oil company uncomfortable. Watson looked at multiple aspects of the tweets, including where they originated, how fast they were retweeted, and the kind of words that resonated with retweeters.

Feeding Watson keywords

The first step was for IBM to help the oil company understand the language its Twitter trolls were speaking. To do that, Watson looked into the anti-fracking tweets to identify which ones were most inspirational or creative because they are the ones that immediately go viral.

At that point, IBM fed certain keywords to Watson that related to the fracking topic as was being discussed on Twitter. Watson was given another 40 million anti-fracking retweets to understand.

Assigning ringtones

What followed was that Watson identified how the keywords featured in retweets. Depending on how widely a keyword was retweeeted, Watson assigned varying ringscore. The most retweeted keyword got the highest ringscore and the least retweeted keyword was a signed a lower ringscore.

Using the tools of the enemy

With that, International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) was able to help the company beat the trolls at their own game. For example, the company was able to craft its counter tweets containing words with high ringscore. As much, the oil company was able to not only get the correct word out quickly, but was able to predict potential viral anti-fracking tweets and nip them in the bud.

Neha Gupta

Neha Gupta has been in the financial space for over six years now. Gupta earned her MBA degree from Symbiosis Centre of Distance Learning in 2009 and her passion for finance led her to pursue Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) course. She has successfully completed Level II of her CFA. She is a veteran in article writing, which is depicted in her numerous pieces published on SeekingAlpha, Nextiphonenews, InsiderMonkey, MarketWatch, and Techinsider. Her crisp and eloquent writing finds its best place in Researchcows, where emphasis is given on developing rich content for various websites, products, business plans, trainings, and book writing.

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