The shoes don’t match the outfit, you’re right – but don’t report that


Reporting is a key part of safety on Momio and on many other social media. It works because it’s so simple: When you see something inappropriate, you report it for the administrators to check. Reporting can usually be done with a couple of clicks.

The human touch

The reason reporting works so well is the human touch. For sure, machines can spot certain words and certain types of behaviour, and in general be a huge help, but they cannot (yet) replace real humans with feelings, morals and understanding of context. A human knows if “you’re silly” was said in good spirit or not, for example, and a human operates better in the grey zones.

Coincidentally, the human touch is also the biggest problem with reporting. Because we are not machines, we make mistakes or odd decisions. People constantly report things that are not against the rules. They might have misunderstood something or they might just have a bad day, or they might even want to bully someone. Or maybe they think that something that is allowed should be against the rules.

This is extra difficult for children who are not used to making right or wrong type of decisions, or who don’t quite understand what it means to report something. Therefore we see reports about shoes that don’t match the outfit or clothes that aren’t right for the season. We see accusations of copying someone’s style or picture – but can’t do anything about it because jeans and a sweater is hardly a trademark or because the picture was a widely-spread meme. And we get a fair deal of “she said that he said” type of reports.

All of this is fine: It’s better to report once too many than to be scared of it. It also gives us a chance to guide what should be reported and what should be solved one to one with the other person. And most of the time, children are good at reporting. Great, actually. They know that they can report, and they know how to do it – and they report relevant things. Mostly. ;)

Reports as a part of SAFEGUARD

On Momio, we have an extensive safety system called SAFEGUARD. We are extremely proud of it. It’s a combination of machines, artificial intelligence and trained professionals, and reports are an important part of it. Still, we never take actions only based on reports. A trained professional will look at the cases before any action is taken. The claims in the report need to be verifiable.

About the author:

Silja Nielsen, Momio

Silja Nielsen is Head of Community and Safety at Momio. She has worked at the company since 2010. Silja has a master’s degree in Media Studies and is interested in privacy, online behaviour and online communities.