Bodyguard Rewind: a look back at 2020

2020: a year of great change. A year when Bodyguard worked hard to make sure its technology helps as many people as possible. Our team did not choose to sit back but instead, decided to refine our smart & autonomous text moderation solution to deal with the global increase in the use of the Internet due to the pandemic and numerous lockdowns. Let’s look back at Bodyguard's greatest accomplishments in 2020.

Gracia Kahungu

Gracia Kahungu

A technology that is working at full speed

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, social networks have helped people stay connected, but they have also resulted in an increase of hateful content and online harassment. The Bodyguard technology has been working hard to fight such comments.

And what do we do during a pandemic like this one? We keep developing our technology and mobilizing the ecosystem to protect individuals, families and businesses from the effects caused by online hate to maintain positive social media interactions.

A mobile app that appeals to users

Bodyguard currently protects over 50,000 European social media users from online harassment and toxic content on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Twitch. We are proud to offer our advanced technology, with features such as smart, autonomous, and 100% ad and cost-free text moderation solution for social media to everyone.

The mobile app is currently used by a wide variety of people, among whom are journalists, policy-makers, influencers and artists, as well as regular people who just want to enjoy a safer Internet. The solution, that detects nearly 100% of toxic content and removes it before it reaches the user, clearly appeals to them: over 80% giving the app a 4/5 rating on iOS and Android stores.

In addition, the Bodyguard team has won 2 important awards this year: the For Democracy Talent Award from France Digital and the newspaper ‘Les Echos’, and the Fundtruck award provided by Sowefund.

Bodyguard is getting stronger with new features

To go even further and offer a better user experience, we have deployed four new features this year:

A tailor-made virtual bodyguard Bodyguard now gives the possibility to each user to set their own moderation rules that can be personalized according to their needs at any time.

This means that you can connect your social networks on the mobile app in less than 1 minute and let Bodyguard intelligently protect you against toxic content, or choose to customize your moderation. This means, choosing to protect just yourself or everyone and decide how your virtual bodyguard reacts: what content you want to moderate and pick a moderation severity for each category of hate.

Multilingual hateful content detection Bodyguard has integrated new languages in order to keep detecting more and more hateful content. It was a sizable and challenging mission for our NLP specialists. But they did it! The technology is now able to analyze and moderate comments in English, French and Italian, opening up new doors to protect as many people as possible around the world.

Misogynistic comments moderation Bodyguard protects people from insults, body-shaming, threats, trolling, racism, hate, homophobia, moral harassment and sexual harassment.

We are close to our users and we like to talk with them about their social media experience. From the very beginning It was clear that we had to go further to better protect female content creators online. Thus, Bodyguard has managed to analyze millions of sexist comments this year. The Stream’Her collective (a amazing group of French-speaking streamers) helped our team by sharing some of the many sexist messages they regularly receive. This collaboration resulted in the creation of the Misogyny category in our technology. Bodyguard detects with extreme precision sexist behavior, for example: “Hi ugly”, “let’s see your cleavage”, “can you bend over?”, "go back to the kitchen” or “go mop my floor”.

The Bodyguard team holds this mission very close to their hearts, wanting to help as many women as possible to create content and express themselves freely.

Assistance in case of cyberharassment A recent study conducted by the NGO e-Enfance, the official partner of the French Ministry of National Education in the fight against cyberstalking, highlights that one teenager in ten reports having been a victim of cyberstalking in recent months.

Bodyguard and the NGO e-Enfance have decided to join forces in a new partnership by integrating the Net Ecoute instant messaging service into Bodyguard's mobile app, to enable in 2021 our French users to get in touch with psychologists and staff that are specially trained in digital protection if they are in need of help or they are being cyberbullied.

Italy: development of a family solution

We know how much children hate parental control and security companies like scaring parents into using them. Parental control isn’t always the right solution to keep your child safe.

Bodyguard has been working alongside BNP Paribas Cardif and the NGO Fare x Bene to co-develop a new solution dedicated to Italian families, protecting children from hateful content and notifying parents in real time when it happens. Bodyguard for Families is a tool to help parents protect their kids without being intrusive, while also sharing educational content provided by the highly regarded NGO Fare x Bene, aimed at parents to accompany them in the use of the web and in navigating the risks of social networks.

Bodyguard for Families was officially launched in Italy early December. While it is still early days to celebrate success the solution has received positive feedback from its very first users.

B2B launch

While we already protect thousands of users on social networks, we're aware that cyberharassment deeply affects enterprises too. Our desire is to help make the online space a safer and more respectful environment, by protecting as many people against cyberharassment and hate speech as we can. This is precisely what fueled us to create a text moderation solution dedicated to business communities and platforms.

Our tech solution helps generate value for businesses by preventing toxic content on their platforms and within their communities.

The B2B offering started strong through moderating the live interview of French President E. Macron for Brut. on Facebook, Youtube and Twitch. Nearly 100,000 comments were analyzed in real time, including 2% toxic messages and 2% positive messages. A great opportunity for Bodyguard to demonstrate its ability to open up the debate rather than let it be smothered with insults, threats and hate speech.

Bodyguard’s business solution was born after several businesses reached out to us to say they were struggling with toxic content on their platforms, which was driving their users away and slowly destroying their communities. Seeing that Bodyguard’s solution for individuals helps them focus on positive engagement and encourage conversations, businesses wanted a powerful moderation solution adapted for their specific needs.

Bodyguard for Business is a smarter and autonomous text moderation solution that helps businesses leverage positive engagement within their communities, by shielding them from negative, toxic content.

While the core technology behind the business solution comes with the same intelligent and powerful moderation capabilities as for individuals, the B2B solution has been specifically developed to match any business’ moderation needs. Power customization options let businesses from various industries set their own specific moderation rules. Gaming companies, for example, can set a more relaxed moderation around content classed as ‘trolling’, as this is part of the gaming language. Media platforms, on the other hand, can make sure that Bodyguard very strictly moderates racism, homophobia and hate speech.

Developed as an easy to use solution, Bodyguard for Business works as a SaaS model based on a monthly subscription. Capable of working with any type of platform (website, app, social network) a business might use, Bodyguard’s business solution is available straight away through quick & painless integration via API.

And perhaps the biggest achievement yet for Bodyguard’s business solution are the first happy clients who swear by the fact that Bodyguard’s technology performed far better in tests than other solutions they were considering. For us, this is great news, as it will allow us to keep pursuing our mission: protect as many people as possible against toxic content online.

A Safer World Wide Web

More than ever, let’s all choose to focus on having positive interactions and ward off negative ones. Bodyguard is merging its commitment to protect as many people from online hate with a stronger and customizable technology for an ever more respectful and caring digital environment to change mindsets, allow creators to express and create freely, protect and help platforms become healthier and safer online environments.

In order to carry out our mission as a social business, we will be back next year with new features and many new and exciting projects! A little hint for the curious: new languages to be added and detected (can you guess which one?), an even more powerful technology, as well as new features to help you focus on the positive side of social media, and a collaborative moderation mode and new types of protection.

See you next year! 💪❤️