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"World's first anti-trolling software" launched in UK

Published September 2013

A British software company has launched a new app to help footballers, reality TV stars, pop stars, politicians and anyone in the public eye block abusive messages on their Twitter feeds.

The app, called SMC4 Lite, claims to be the "world's first anti-trolling software." It reads all inbound and outgoing social media messages from the user's Twitter account and automatically blocks any profanity, sexism, racism and other inappropriate language.

Michael Veenswyk, chief executive of SMC4, which developed the app, said that implementing automated social media controls stops abuse and eliminates reaction, enabling celebrities and fans to enjoy social messaging protected from unwanted abuse.

"The proliferation of social media has enabled people to get closer than ever to public figures, but the flipside is that it has also opened up an unwanted avenue of antisocial abusive communication towards celebrities," said Veenswyk.

"It's unfortunately an epidemic that has found its way into day-to-day social communication and needs to be stamped out as no person should be subject to vile and abusive social media attacks."

SMC4 was originally a corporate tool designed to stop rogue or mistaken tweets by employees, but it has since been adapted to work for celebrities.

The SMC4 free version enables up to 10 'transactions' per day. This means it will monitor the social media account it is attached to every six minutes and delete any incoming abuse for free up to ten times a day. Users also have the option to upgrade to a paid, premium version, if they are worried about needing more than ten transactions.

SMC4 claims that the app could help bring an end to online celebrity metdowns, such as Lee Westwood’s recent outburst following the PGA Championship, and Alec Baldwin’s infamous response to Daily Mail journalist George Stark earlier this year, allowing people in the public eye to have civilised conversations with those that want to interact with them.

Veenswyk claims it could also be used to protect children from being bullied online by blocking abusive tweets from other children.

As well as Twitter, the SMC4 app can block abuse on corporate Facebook accounts. However, Facebook does not enable third parties to control private accounts, so the SMC4 app does not work on private accounts.

Veenswyk said: "Mark Zucerkburg and Facebook have a duty of care to protect young people and could easily stop social media abuse by unlocking the Private Facebook user API, enabling authorised 3rd parties like SMC4 to end profanity attacks and trolling."

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