Tech startup Bodyguard expands into the US to protect social media users from toxic online content

Tech startup Bodyguard expands into the US to protect social media users from toxic online content

Published: 11-02-2021 09:21:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 5348 | Tags:

Bodyguard, the technology startup that protects users from cyber harassment, hate speech and toxic content online, launched a major US expansion at CES 2021, in line with its vision of creating a safer web around the world.

Bodyguard already protects over 51,000 European social media users from online harassment and toxic content via an app which is 100% ad- and cost-free. The technology behind the app scans and analyzes over 5 million comments in real-time each month on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Twitch. The startup has developed its own advanced technology, which functions as a smart and autonomous text moderation solution for social media.

Among Bodyguard's users are journalists, policy-makers, influencers and artists, as well as regular people who just want to enjoy a safer Internet. The app detects over 90% of toxic content and eliminates it before it reaches the user. The Bodyguard solution is also available to businesses via an API, offering them a text moderation technology to protect their online communities and platforms from hateful content, cyberharassment and hate speech. Bodyguard for Businesses allows companies to focus on the positive engagement within their community, thus improving the experience for both the business and its community members.

Based on contextual analysis rather than keyword moderation and updated on a daily basis, the technology detects nuances, makes very few mistakes, and identifies even the newest variations of toxic terms. It also understands emojis, abbreviations, censored words and typos. The startup's American user base has grown rapidly since US availability was announced at CES, reaching 1,000 registered users in the few weeks following the launch. This does  not come as a surprise, as recent statistics shared by the Pew Research Center indicate that 41% of U.S. adults have personally experienced online harassment.

The Bodyguard team has spent over three years developing a technology solution to  stop cyberbullying, cyberharassment and hate speech online. With smarter moderation capabilities, the solution acts as a virtual shield, protecting individual users and communities against toxic content in real-time before it is seen by the user. This prevents harm before it happens, mitigating the effects of toxic content and creating a safer environment online. Using its unique, tailor-made technology, the startup aims to ignite a social movement to combat the devastating effects of cyberbullying, online harassment and hate speech, an issue that has worsened as result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Matthieu Boutard, Managing Director, Bodyguard: "Our technology is deeply rooted in our values and social mission: to protect as many people as possible against harmful content online. We wanted to create something extremely easy to use, that is more efficient than existing solutions. Having worked at Google for 7 years, I'm very conscious of both the positive and negative impact that technology can have socially. I have always been excited about the unique possibilities that technology and the Internet can open up to its users, but concerned about the rise of toxic content online on the other hand. This is why Bodyguard's social movement is extremely important to me. Thanks to our solution,  we can truly make a difference, ensuring that online safety is not optional, but remains core to the Internet values moving forward.''

Bodyguard is committed to helping its users favor positive interactions online rather than negative ones. It does this by enabling users to create more space for meaningful exchanges within their communities and filter out negative interactions in real-time. As long as toxic content is present on social media, Bodyguard protects online communities from insults, racism, homophobia, threats and harassment, creating a safer worldwide web for all.