The 16M+ User Social Discovery App Doubles Down on Moderation Efforts that Improve User Experience, With Four Best-in-Class Tech Partners
Wizz, the social media app that provides teens with a safe space to meet and chat with new friends around the world, has announced its technology-driven “Safety Ecosystem.” Wizz has long seen a positive correlation between its efforts to keep users safe from malicious content and their increased level of comfort in expressing themselves among peers. The app is now taking its safety and security efforts a step further by transforming its partnerships with Yoti, Sight Engine, Besedo and Webhelp into a long-term program aimed at continuously identifying and eliminating issues related to age verification, content moderation, and user privacy.
Safety has become an increasing focal point across social media platforms as users express concerns about their exposure to offensive content and question the intentions of the people they’re interacting with online. While some networks impose little or no restrictions on user content or who joins their communities, Wizz views content moderation and age verification measures as necessary steps toward creating a space where users can comfortably focus on the connections they make with each other.
“Some social media platforms see moderation measures as stifling users’ ability to express themselves. Our experience is the opposite,” said Aymeric Roffé, CEO of Wizz. “When teens and young adults know they’re not going to be bombarded with offensive or bullying content, they are more comfortable and free to be themselves. We selected technology partners that could help us realize our vision of using security to encourage a higher level of self-expression, and have seen our work together consistently result in increased engagement.”
Through its work with Yoti, Sight Engine, Webhelp and Besedo, Wizz has enhanced its users’ experience and privacy by verifying their ages and making sure that the content shown to them meets its guidelines.
Before introducing technology to enforce its guidelines, Wizz worked with a diverse group of people, including app community members, to determine what behaviors and content would distract from positive experiences. A few examples of things that are prohibited on Wizz:
Age verification is key to ensuring that teen and young adult users are only connecting with people in their direct age group. For Wizz, this means those who are no more than one year older or younger than one another.
To verify that users are the age they claim, each user must take a photo through the app during sign-up. The image is then run through Yoti’s artificial intelligence software, which verifies the user’s age with acute accuracy (within an average of 1.52 years for 13 to 19-year-olds). Yoti’s AI-driven technology assesses the user’s biometric features and compares them against an algorithm trained on millions of facial images to determine whether the patterns match those of other people of the same age.
After users’ ages are verified, Wizz works with partners to ensure that any content created or submitted through the app is appropriate and in line with its complete content policy. Wizz challenged itself and its partners to create a system that could moderate content within the milliseconds between the time that content is submitted and its delivery to recipients. In other words, before users even see it.
Each time written content is sent to another user, for instance, the text is processed immediately by Besedo’s AI, whose machine learning models are able to automatically examine the text and actively filter out or flag suspicious or negative activity. Besedo has been trained specifically to enforce Wizz’s policies and its algorithms are constantly learning and improving to reflect community nuances. Because the technology is completely scalable, it can manage high volumes of activity from the millions of active users that use Wizz on a daily basis.
Sight Engine handles moderation of any image or video content that’s uploaded and shared through the app by instantly running a trained algorithm over the media to ensure no prohibited imagery is shared. Sight Engine has built models to assess numerous types of potentially offensive content, including those specifically prohibited by Wizz. Their technology has been shown to be able to identify offensive content with up to 99.2 percent accuracy, with response times of approximately 230 milliseconds.
In order to give users control over the content shared with them, Wizz has supplemented these automated moderation efforts with the ability for users to directly report any content or actions they find personally offensive or inappropriate. It powers this functionality through its partner, Webhelp. After users flag offending content or user behavior, Webhelp conducts a manual review with a human agent, helping to inform if the user should be suspended or banned.
This holistic system not only gives users peace of mind but also significantly reduces the likelihood that offensive content will spread.
Wizz’s Safety Ecosystem is a nod to its long-term commitment to user experience, which has been present since its first day. The company plans to continually assess and iterate on its moderation efforts as the app itself evolves.
Wizz is a fast-growing social media app that provides teens with a safe space to meet and chat with new friends around the world. In pursuit of its mission to “Expand Your World,” Wizz users can instantly find connections with common interests, join communities, start spontaneous conversations, ask or answer users’ questions, and share photos and videos. In addition to its engaging user experience, Wizz has created one of the mobile world’s most comprehensive content moderation ecosystems, enabling it to enforce strict standards when it comes to the people and content allowed on the app.