Bigo Live is addressing the problem of obscenity with AI, strong moderation tools | tech | Hindustan Times
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Bigo Live is addressing the problem of obscenity with AI, strong moderation tools

Bigo Live, a live video blogging-based social networking platform, has more than 5 million active users in India.

tech Updated: Dec 05, 2017 19:41 IST
Kul Bhushan

Bigo Live, a Singapore-based popular live video streaming application, is hard at work to tackle the issue of obscene content on its platform, a common pain point for most of the social networking platforms.

Late last month, we had reported about the growing popularity of the application in India but also the misuse of the platform. The company asserted that obscenity was indeed a problem, but it has been ramping up its moderation team and stricter penalties for those who violate its policies. It also pointed out that it was a problem for all social networking platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.

Bigo Live claims to have 40 million registered users in India, with more than 5 million active users. The app is essentially a live video blogging application where one can broadcast anything they are up to.

One of the key features of Bigo Live is that it allows users to collect virtual in-app gifts and exchange them for real money. To cash out, a streamer needs to have at least 6,700 beans in their account.

The ‘Live’ concept of the application, however, has also posed a serious challenge for the app developers to keep it from getting misused. But the company does not think it is a problem.

“Some people use “live” to do the wrong thing, which means villains create a problem, but not “live” this app. Of course, our Bigo moderators try best to make a green and healthy environment for our users,” said Nagesh Banga, Communication Head at Bigo Live.

“In order to block obscene words, visual and audio, we spare no efforts. Obscene words and images are collected by our systems and they will be recognised and blocked when suspicious content appears. Apart from this, our operators also take turns to do their moderation job for 24 hours. In this way, obscene words, visual and audio on the platform also can be blocked.”

“Our Indian moderation team (including 95 moderators) arranges operators to monitor every live streaming during 24 hours and if obscene content appear on our platform, it will be blocked instantly. The Chinese moderation team assists us to monitor live content.”

The company has also deployed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) called Haidu Recognition System to remove pictures that violate the company policy.

“There is a button of report on our Bigo-live app. So we encourage our viewers to report those who violate live streaming policies. By those efforts, we believe we will creative a better live platform for users.”

Bigo Live, however, is not alone in the effort to tackle the growing menace of obscenity or disturbing content on social media platforms.

Google’s YouTube on Monday announced increasing its team of moderators to remove extremist content. The world’s largest video-sharing platform said it had developed automated software that is capable of detecting videos associated with extremism. Among various measures YouTube is taking is blocking such uploaders from generating ad revenue.

Besides obscenity and disturbing content, social media platforms are also grappling with the issue of fake news. Facebook, the world’s largest social network, has faced severe criticism over the issue.

“We are constantly monitoring and using every tool at our disposal to ensure we purge fake news out of Facebook,” Alexandra Hardiman, Facebook director of news products, said earlier this week at HT Summit.