Three Techniques to Protect Users From Cyberbullying

CEO Chris Priebe founded Two Hat Security back in 2012, with a big goal: To protect people of all ages from online bullying. Over the last six years, we’ve been given the opportunity to help some of the largest online games, virtual worlds, and messaging apps in the world grow healthy, engaged communities on their platforms.

Organizations like The Cybersmile Foundation provide crucial services, including educational resources and 24-hour global support, to victims of cyberbullying and online abuse.

But what about the platforms themselves? What can online games and social networks do to prevent cyberbullying from happening in the first place? And how can community managers play their part?

In honor of #StopCyberbullyingDay 2018 and our official support of the event, today we are sharing our top three techniques that community managers can implement to stop cyberbullying and abuse in their communities.

Community guidelines.Share community guidelines.

Clear community standards are the building blocks of a healthy community. Sure, they won’t automatically prevent users from engaging in toxic or disruptive behavior, but they do set language and behavior expectations up front.

Post guidelines where every community member can see them. For a forum, pin a “Forum Rules, Read Before Posting” post at the top of the page. For comment sections, include a link or popup next to the comment box. Online games can even embed a code of conduct reminder within their reporting feature. Include consequences — what can users expect to happen if policies are broken?

Don’t just include what not to do — include what to do! Want the community to encourage and support each other? Tell them!

Proactive moderation. Use proactive moderation.

Once community standards are clearly communicated, community managers need a method to filter, escalate, and review abusive content.

Often, that involves choosing the right moderation software. Most community managers use either a simple profanity filter or a content moderation tool. Proactive moderation involves filtering cyberbullying and abuse before it reaches the community. Profanity filters use a strict blacklist/whitelist to detect harassment, but they’re not sophisticated or accurate enough to understand context or nuance, and some only work for the English language.

Instead, find a content moderation tool that can accurately identify cyberbullying, remove it in real time — and ultimately prevent users from experiencing abuse.

Of course, platforms should still always have a reporting system. But proactive moderation means that users only have to report questionable, “grey-area” content or false positive, instead of truly damaging content like extreme bullying and hate speech.

Reward positive users. Reward positive users.

Positive user experience leads to increased engagement, loyalty, and profits.

Part of a good experience involves supporting the community’s code of conduct. Sanctioning users who post abusive comments or attack other community members is an essential technique in proactive moderation.

But with so much attention paid to disruptive behavior, positive community members can start to feel like their voices aren’t heard.

That’s why we encourage community managers to reinforce positive behavior by rewarding power users.

Emotional rewards add a lot of value, cost nothing, and take very little time. Forum moderators can upvote posts that embody community standards. Community managers can comment publicly on encouraging or supportive posts. Mods and community managers can even send private messages to users who contribute to community health and well-being.

Social rewards like granting access to exclusive content and achievement badges work, too. Never underestimate the power of popularity and peer recognition when it comes to encouraging healthy behavior!

When choosing a content moderation tool to aid in proactive moderation, look for software that measures user reputation based on behavior. This added technology takes the guesswork and manual review out of identifying positive users.

#StopCyberbullyingDay 2018, organized by the Cybersmile Foundation.

The official #StopCyberbullyingDay takes place once every year, on the third Friday in June. But for community managers, moderators, and anyone who works with online communities (including those of us at Two Hat Security), protecting users from bullying and harassment is a daily task. Today, start out by choosing one of our three healthy community building recommendations — and watch your community thrive.

After all, doesn’t everyone deserve to share online without fear of harassment or abuse?

Two Hat Security Announced as Official Supporter of Stop Cyberbullying Day 2018

Two Hat Security has been announced as an Official Supporter of Stop Cyberbullying Day 2018, helping to promote a positive and inclusive internet — free from fear, personal threats, and abuse.

Thanks to a generous donation by Two Hat Security, The Cybersmile Foundation can continue to help victims of online abuse around the world while raising awareness of the important issues surrounding the growing problem of harassment and cyberbullying in all its forms.

“We are delighted to receive this generous donation from Two Hat Security to help us continue our work supporting victims of cyberbullying and delivering educational programs to help people avoid cyberbullying related issues in the future,” says Iain Alexander, Head of Engagement at The Cybersmile Foundation.

Two Hat Security is the creator of Community Sift, a content filter and automated moderation tool that allows gaming and social platforms to proactively protect their communities from cyberbullying, abuse, profanity, and more.

“Stop Cyberbullying Day is such an important initiative,” says Carlos Figueiredo, Director of Community Trust and Safety at Two Hat Security. “We believe that digital citizenship and sportsmanship are the keys to understanding disruptive player behavior. The work that the Cybersmile Foundation does to support victims perfectly lines up with our mission to protect online communities from abuse and harassment.”

Stop Cyberbullying Day regularly features a host of global corporations, celebrities, influencers, educational institutions and governments who come together and make the internet a brighter, more positive place. The day has previously been supported by celebrities and brands including One Direction, Fifth Harmony, MTV, Twitter and many more.

To get involved with the Stop Cyberbullying Day 2018 activities, participants can share positive messages on social media using the hashtag #STOPCYBERBULLYINGDAY.

About Two Hat Security

Founded in 2012, Two Hat Security empowers gaming and social platforms to foster healthier online communities. With their flagship product Community Sift, an enterprise-level content filter and automated moderation tool, online communities can proactively filter abuse, harassment, hate speech, and other disruptive behavior.

Community Sift currently processes over 22 billion messages a month in 20 different languages, across a variety of communities and demographics, including Roblox, Animal Jam, Kabam, Habbo, and more.

For sales or media enquiries, please contact hello@twohat.com.

About The Cybersmile Foundation

The Cybersmile Foundation is a multi-award winning anti-cyberbullying nonprofit organization. Committed to tackling all forms of digital abuse, harassment and bullying online, Cybersmile work to promote diversity and inclusion by building a safer, more positive digital community.

Through education, innovative awareness campaigns and the promotion of positive digital citizenship Cybersmile reduce incidents of cyberbullying and through their professional help and support services they empower victims and their families to regain control of their lives.

For media enquiries contact pressoffice@cybersmile.org.

About Stop Cyberbullying Day

Stop Cyberbullying Day is an internationally recognized day of awareness and activities both on and offline that was founded and launched by The Cybersmile Foundation on June 17th 2012. Annually, every third Friday in June, Stop Cyberbullying Day encourages people around the world to show their commitment toward a truly inclusive and diverse online environment for all – without fear of personal threats, harassment or abuse. Users of social media include the hashtag #STOPCYBERBULLYINGDAY to show their support for inclusion, diversity, self-empowerment and free speech.