A slip of the tongue is usually easy enough to forget—but a slip of the thumb tends to linger, a verbal scar emblazoned forever in the little blue and green bubbles of iMessage.
But a new app from a Swedish insurance company is trying to fix that. The app—called Fulfiltret, which means “Nasty Filter” in Swedish—replaces mean words with nicer ones, substituting, say, the word “idiot” with “genius.” The app installs as a separate language keyboard on your phone (like emoji), correcting a user’s electronic missives whenever they tend toward harsh.
Here’s a video on how it works:
Fulfiltret is a marketing gimmick pitched by the insurer Länsförsäkringar as a way to tamp down on bullying in cyberspace. But it also raises a good point: the blade of our hastily typed words can cut deep. Other tech startups, like Crystal, now offer computer-optimized solutions for making us rethink what we write. Maybe we really do need an algorithmic buffer between us and the send button to keep us from putting out there forever words that we don’t really mean. Or it may just function as a needed features to force us to call someone when a conversation is getting too heated.
Currently, though, Fulfiltret is only available in Swedish. So if you’re a member of the non-Swedish speaking world, maybe just think for a second before you hit send.