Case Study: MovieStarPlanet

Expression Without Censorship

About MovieStarPlanet

MovieStarPlanet is a vibrant and colorful social network designed for children between 8-15. In this virtual world, users create a personalized avatar, play games, chat and have fun with their friends. Everyone is encouraged to express their creativity by designing clothes, decorating their rooms, directing movies, and sharing artwork.

Users interact through in-game chat, forums posts, private messages, and more. MovieStarPlanet is dedicated to providing a safe and engaging framework for children to interact in what is often their first social networking experience.

It’s important that social features like personalized usernames, chat, and forum posts allow users to communicate openly and creatively. However, ensuring expressivity can be challenging in a children’s environment where online safety is the first priority. Providing children with a safe community, where they can express themselves and exhibit their creativity, is of paramount importance for everyone working at MovieStarPlanet.

Finding a balance between safety and creativity

MovieStarPlanet was ready to leverage a new, more nuanced chat filter that would allow them to achieve that tricky balance between safety and freedom of expression.

Over a period of three months, the MovieStarPlanet team integrated with Community Sift and rolled out the new system. They worked with the Community Sift Client Success team to fine-tune the filter, ensuring that it could identify game lingo (“Boonie, “MovieTown,” etc), adjusting the system to enforce the MovieStarPlanet Terms of Use and Community Guidelines, and performing quality control on multiple languages.

“Working together with the Community Sift team enabled us to adjust the filtering system, to meet the complex needs of the MovieStarPlanet community. The professional relationship between MovieStarPlanet and the Community Sift team has ensured that this process was fast, efficient, and accurate.” Vernon Jones, Head of Safety

Flexible features

The team leveraged the flexible Community Sift feature set to implement separate filters for their two distinct age groups. To ensure COPPA compliance, users under 13 are automatically subject to a stricter filter, while users over 13 have more permissive settings. This allows the over 13 community to chat more openly with their friends, while still protecting them from harmful bullying, harassment, and profanity.

Real-time updates

Now, community managers can update the filter in real time. When features are added to the game, they can whitelist new terms immediately to ensure that users can express themselves. As well, Community Sift’s adaptable “Smart Rules” allow the team to adjust and fine-tune the system instantly when users attempt to bypass the filter using subversive language.

Fewer community complaints

And most importantly, since implementing Community Sift, the team has received fewer complaints from users who feel that they cannot express themselves. And handling complaints is easy since updates to the filters can be made in real time — in no time. The MovieStarPlanet community is more engaged and safe.

“With the Community Sift filtering system protecting our users, the child safeguarding measures that we required for the online community, are in place, and at the same time users are still free to express themselves.” Vernon Jones, Head of Safety

Want to protect your users while encouraging freedom of expression?

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