If the internet was a country, it would be the fifth economical power in the world. On social networks, we exchange, 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 behaviour pollutes our interactions.
In the world, 79% of 12-15 year olds and 61% of adults say that they have been a victim of online hatred at least once during the last 12 months. We count at least sixty cyber bullying related suicides every year. Millions of people suffer from depression and social anxiety.
All of this hate 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 users have stopped exposing themselves and creating on the internet. The human and economical damage caused by online hatred is considerable. These hateful comments create 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 (too much hate, little interaction, resulting in loss of advertisement revenue.
We should all be free to express ourselves, to create, without the fear of being insulted. The Bodyguard team has the ambition to offer a new model: a humanistic 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, this connection is what will create a better tomorrow.
Charles, creator of of bodyguard’s interest for coding started at the age of 12. A self taught computer genius, he then became passionate about artificial intelligence and NLP (Natural Language processing). He perfected his skills all alone in his bedroom and created the first algorithms that will in turn lay the groundworks for a special type of bodyguard, a bodyguard that doesn’t really have big arms but a very robust artificial intelligence. Many internet users and mentors believed in his project. Charles has since surrounded himself with a team of people deeply attached to freedom of speech and extremely proud to be developing a benevolent technology.
Bodyguard is a social enterprise, completely apolitical and independent. The application is 100% free and it 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 or web site. We have also won multiple prizes and received funding, allowing us to complete our mission that we have set for ourselves and that we hold close to our hearts: protect from online hate, act before any damage is done to do away with cyberbullying.
Bodyguard is a machine, 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 Machine avoids error of judgement. It follows the guidelines established by it’s users. We have developed this technology by feeding it with hateful content present on social network for 2 years. On top of bodyguard’s expertises, our users participate in refining the radars of our technology by sending us insults, context, emojis…
Bodyguard is divided into different forms:
-Free mobile application that is destined for everyone’s use
-A SaaS solution for businesses needing moderation,
-A solution for families so that parents can stay informed in real time if their child is a victim or perpetrator of cyberbullying.
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 puts aside baseless hate.
Do you want to actively participate in this fight against cyberbullying? Are you so attached to this issue that you want to see drastic societal and digital change. Join us ! Help us democratise the application, share it with your community to protect as many internet users as possible from online hate.