Discussing the risks of bullying for anonymous social app NGL

Pierluigi Paganini July 08, 2022

This is a transcription of my complete interview with the program NEWSFEED at TRT, during which we discussed NGL software and the risks of bullying.

Why are anonymous social apps like NGL cause for concern? What exactly makes them dangerous for minors?

We have long debated the potential impact of social media on the mental health of youngsters. The problems are bigger when dealing with anonymous social apps that could be abused for bullying, harassment, and any kind of scam or dangerous challenge. Cyberbullying is dramatically increasing the risk of suicides among young people. The condition of anonymity on social networks can advantage such kinds of illegal activities and online cybercrimes, such as sextortion and romance scams.

Apps like NGL are nothing new, there was ask.fm, Whisper and Sarahah. But those apps were rife with cyberbulling. NGL says it’s different and has ‘world-class AI content moderation’ to prevent harassment. How effective do you think these in measures are to prevent bullying?

Similar apps like Ask.FM, Whisper, and Yolo were affected by cyberbullying. Despite NGL company is saying that its AI content moderation capability outstands I fear that it will be not able to prevent harassment. We all know that tech giant like Facebook and Tik Tok daily fight this practice with the most advanced content moderation technologies, but they are not able to completely curb these phenomena.

Clearly, I’m a technician and I need to test the platform to determine the efficiency of the content moderation.

What’s the appeal of anonymous social media apps? 

Anonymous social media apps offer a condition of anonymity that is interpreted by youngsters as a sort of immunity. If you are anonymous online you can do anything you want. It is the right place for haters and people who vent their frustrations on others, often weaker.

Youngsters are not aware of the risks associated with their actions online and have no idea of the consequences of their online activities on others.

Cyberbullying and harassment are not perceived as criminal activities by young people.

What should apps like NGL do to address safety and legal concerns over their content?

They have a unique option. Improve content moderation with the introduction of AI-based systems that allow them to quickly detect any abuse of their platform.

Below is the video of the program:

Follow me on Twitter: @securityaffairs and Facebook

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, NGL)

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