If the Internet was a country, it would be the fifth economical power in the world. Using social networks, we exchange opinions, we have fun, we let our creativity speak. Everything is possible. That’s what makes the Internet amazing. However, expressing yourself also means being exposed. Things can quickly get out of hand. Ridicule, insults, threats, racism, sexism… Online hate and aggressive behavior taint our interactions.
In the world, 79% of 12-15 year olds and 61% of adults say that they have been a victim of online hate at least once during the last 12 months. We count at least 60 cyberbullying-related suicides every year. Millions of people suffer from depression and social anxiety.
All of this toxicity kills the core purpose of social media. Freedom of speech is undermined, we are reluctant to express ourselves out of fear of being insulted. Many have stopped putting themselves out there and creating content on the web. The human and economical damage caused by online hatred is considerable. This toxic content creates a hostile and uncomfortable environment for Internet users, which could even lead to them completely giving up on using the Internet. A large number of media personalities have deactivated their comment sections because they received too much hateful content, little interaction, which was resulting in loss of advertisement revenue.
We should all be free to express ourselves, to create, without the fear of being attacked. The Bodyguard team has the ambition to offer a new model: a humane model, in a respectful digital environment. We believe in the wealth of networks, as described by Yochai Benkler in 2006. Networks allow us to connect with other minds, and this connection is what will create a better tomorrow.
Bodyguard was created by Charles Cohen, a self-taught computer genius who started coding at the age of 12. Charles became passionate about AI (Artificial Intelligence) and NLP (Natural Language Processing) – and it was this passion that laid the groundwork for the technology which was going to become Bodyguard. Mentors, investors and fellow Internet users all believed in this project and decided to support it. Charles has since surrounded himself with a team of people deeply devoted to the freedom of speech, who are proud to be supporting the development of a benevolent technology.
Bodyguard is a social enterprise, completely apolitical and independent. The mobile app is 100% free and will remain free, to allow everyone to be protected against online hate. To fund Bodyguard, we offer our technology to businesses who wish to moderate their platforms, websites or online communities. We have also won multiple prizes and received funding, allowing us to pursue our mission that we have set for ourselves and that we hold close to our hearts: protect as many people as possible from online hate, act before the damage is done and put an end to online hate.
Bodyguard is a technology, Bodyguard does not have a point of view, no political preference or opinion. Bodyguard doesn’t have a skin colour, nor sexual preference. No type of financing will ever change our technology. Bodyguard will protect – full stop.
The technology avoids error of judgement. It follows the guidelines established by its users. We have developed this technology by feeding it with hateful content from social networks for over 2 years. On top of Bodyguard’s expertise, our users participate in refining the radars of our technology by sending us insults, context, emojis etc.
The Bodyguard technology is available as:
– a free mobile application that is destined to protect individuals from toxic online comments and messages
– a SaaS solution for businesses who need to moderate their communities and platforms
– a solution for families so that parents can stay informed in real time if their child is a cyberbullied or a cyberbully.
For over 2 years, a strong and benevolant community has naturally emerged around Bodyguard. It gives way to constructive criticism, to debate, to exchange, and shuts out toxicity.
Do you want to actively participate in this fight against cyberharassment and hate speech? Do you feel strong enough about this cause that you want to see drastic societal and digital change? Join us! Help us democratize the application, share it with your community to protect as many Internet users as possible from online hate.