Behind The Spayce App’s Moderation Plans

spayce-app-logoWe wrote earlier this month about the new Spayce app, which functions like a combination of Instagram and Yik Yak. Our early conclusion was that it could be a haven for inappropriate activity given that it is location-based, and high school and college students tend to gravitate toward such apps.

As to what is permitted and not permitted on Spayce, it is hard to tell as their Terms of Service are quite vague. They had mentioned on Twitter that they don’t allow adult content. We reached out to the company for comment and they were kind enough to reply. Below are our original questions, the company’s answers and some follow up thoughts that we have.

How exactly do you monitor content – human monitors or software?

“We use human moderators to monitor and manage content, and also rely on our community to help us identify content that’s not a good fit for Spayce.  Users can report content, comments, and profiles and our core team manually reviews all content that is flagged by our users.  We a have a real-time system of alerts in place that helps us to do this across [the platform].”

We’d be interested to hear how much of their monitoring is preemptive or real time. As Spayce grows, no doubt it will be impossible for human mods to monitor everything. Users should be aware that on almost every social network – and Spayce appears to be no exception – it is a good idea to report abuse and inappropriate conduct whenever you see it.

Is all nudity and sexual content banned?

“Images/videos of nudity are banned, but we have tried to maintain a light touch on some of the borderline stuff.  We believe in letting our users drive the spirit of the community, and for the most part this seems to be working for both us and the community.”

You may have read that Instagram this week updated its policies to spell out exactly what types of images are not allowed. As Spayce matures, we would expect to see more explicit guidelines.

Does this ban refer to images only, or images and text?

“We moderate all content, but to date, most of the problematic content that has required moderation has been images.”

I was on the app this morning and within minutes saw one post with text superimposed where the message was extremely inappropriate and possibly homophobic cyberbullying. I reported the image/user – it was quite easy. The image hasn’t been deleted yet but we’ll update this post if it is.

What about drug and alcohol references, firearms etc.?

“We moderate all reference to hard drugs and all content related to buying/selling drugs.”

There is no contextual search function that we can see – you can only browse by location – so perhaps drugs dealing will not be a problem.

Overall, it remains to be seen how well Spayce can keep up with monitoring inappropriate content. We’ll keep you posted.



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