Social video site tackles online grooming

Social video site tackles online grooming

Clipstar uses Anti-Grooming Engine to identify dangerous conversations

Social networking video site Clipstar has deployed a technology designed to protect young people from online paedophiles and bullies.

The Anti-Grooming Engine, developed by Crisp Thinking, analyses the content and context of online chat to identify potentially dangerous grooming and bullying conversations.

Several child safety groups have expressed concern over the increasing use of social networks by children, urging sites to do more to protect them.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre launched its Think U Know awareness site in October which allows children to meet and learn about different aspects of online safety.

Some social networking sites, such as MySpace, use protocols to pick up key phrases to spot underage users, but Crisp Thinking believes that they do not search for potential abusers targeting young people.

The Anti-Grooming Engine monitors how relationships develop and looks for underlying patterns used to manipulate young people, alerting moderators so that action can be taken.

"Social networking websites have been run like the Wild West with no one pro-actively taking responsibility for protecting users against the threat of abuse," said Adam Hildreth, founder of Crisp Thinking.

"Groomers can be very devious and adults naturally use many diverse and complex words, punctuation and grammar in written conversation.

"The Anti-Grooming Engine measures many variables such and can understand the overall picture to read between the lines."

The programme also creates a 'digital fingerprint' that is matched to known 'good' and 'bad' online relationships which are stored in its databases.

"Employing the Anti-Grooming Engine sends a clear message to groomers that our site will not tolerate attempts to make contact with young people," said Eren Ozagir, sales and marketing director at Clipstar.