A #MeToo Bot For Detecting Sexual Harassment At Work Is Not A Solution

(Photo: Iryna  Alekseienko via Getty Images)
(Photo: Iryna Alekseienko via Getty Images)

Top firms are now buying a so-called ‘#MeTooBot’ to detect bullying and sexual harassment in staff emails – because, it seems, employees cannot be trusted.

The system utilises AI technology to monitor communications, analysing everything from speech patterns to attachments and the timings of messages being sent.

Chicago-based company NexLP, which is developing the system, said its AI platform is already being used by more than 50 corporate clients around the world, including some law firms in London.

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“I wasn’t aware of all the forms of harassment,” chief executive Jay Leib told The Guardian. “I thought it was just talking dirty. It comes in so many different ways. It might be 15 messages... it could be racy photos.”

It’s perhaps unsurprising that companies are investing in tech to tackle sexual harassment. In a poll carried out by HuffPost UK alongside BBC 5 Live last year, just 2% of 20-29 year olds said they believe the #MeToo movement had positively changed their working environment.

Statistics from the Young Women’s Trust also found that even after #MeToo, a third of women aged 18 to 24 still didn’t know how to report sexual harassment at work and 30% say there has not been enough action.

Still, wouldn’t a cheaper solution be to tackle the root of the issue, and aim to stop workplace harassment? Surely it’s about time the message got through?

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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