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New Google Chrome extension will stop you from being a jerk online by flagging insulting messages


If you regularly use the internet, chances are you’ve probably come across hateful messages online – directed at you or other people.

But now one mental health charity wants to put an end to that.

Australian charity headspace has teamed up with ad agency Leo Burnett Melbourne to tackle cyberbullying with the help of a Google Chrome extension called reword.


The tool aims to stop people before they hit “send” on hurtful comments by making a red line appear across the insults – basically preventing us from being total jerks online.

According to headspace CEO Chris Tanti, reword will not interfere with anything you do online unless, of course, you want to troll people on social media.

“Sadly, online bullying is endemic,” says Tanti. “We’re encouraged that this is a tangible online tool that will genuinely help change behaviour and reduce incidents of bullying.

“The pressures on children in social media are intense. Reword is one way we can help empower them in real time.”

The tool works similarly to spellcheck – recognising words and phrases that are deemed inflammatory and putting a red line across them.


While reword is available only on Google Chrome at the moment, headspace says it plans to roll out the tool on Firefox and Safari.

However the downside of the plan is that in order for reword to work, users will have to choose to install the extension and those who are keen to write insulting messages online will probably opt to ignore it.

But before you start typing that nasty text or email in a moment of impulse, it’s worth taking a deep breath and then rewording your message. Or else, step away from the phone.