Here Are 5 Ways Hornet Uses Technology and Community to Keep Users Safe
As the world’s premier gay social network, we’re proud to be a platform for more than 25 million guys worldwide, and part of our mission requires us to create a safe and affirming environment where users can express all the different and wonderful parts of themselves. And because Hornet is not just for the LGBTQ community but is also a part of the community, we takes seriously our obligation to go “above and beyond” when it comes to user safety.
Hornet has been a leader in the realm of creating and maintaining a safe environment for users for years now, which is why just last week our co-founder and CEO Christof Wittig was invited to take part in a panel discussion all about user safety in apps. As part of the panel, Christof and the heads of other apps discussed the various ways users are kept safe.
Keeping Hornet users safe takes many forms, from algorithms that learn to detect suspicious behavior to several different product features of Hornet to our company policies and commitments. While many of these things are “under the radar,” all of these safety measures improve Hornet users’ lives and protect you.
Here are 5 ways Hornet takes steps to keep our users safe:
1. First and foremost, Hornet is committed to all “industry standards.”
But what are those standards? By industry standards we’re referring to things like our in-app “code of conduct” and how we enforce our rules among users. When you create a Hornet account, for instance, you and all other users are required to agree to the Hornet code of conduct.
Hornet employs a diverse team of moderators across all languages whose job it is to help us find content that goes against our standards, and we also use algorithms and machine learning to moderate certain aspects of content, like user-uploaded images and hateful language. And when it comes to Hornet enforcing our rules, we’re dedicated to removing bad actors (scammers, bots, catfish) to keep users safe.
We also help keep users safe by providing you with buttons to report any abuse in the app, or even block another user if you feel you need to.
2. The Hornet Badge helps you spot authentic guys.
Back in October, we unveiled Hornet’s Version 6 and with that the Hornet Badge, which gives you an easy way to spot fellow authentic users. Hornet is all about connecting you with the community, and so users who “open up” in the app receive preferential treatment. The badge is found on guys’ profiles and is attached to user photos in the feed, and can only be earned by a user whose online activity and interactions reflect a “real person” and not a bad actor.
Another huge component of the badge is Hornet’s new bifurcated chat inbox, the first-ever on a gay app. Now that your inbox separates messages from users with the Hornet Badge and users without the badge, you can focus on chatting with existing connections and guys you follow. All other messages are still accessible on your own time in the “requests” inbox.
Since we unveiled the Hornet Badge, we’ve seen spam reports drop an astounding 60%.
3. The LGBT Token keeps you safe through blockchain technology.
With the LGBT Token, Hornet is using blockchain technology to protect users’ transaction history, which is something that’s important where governments fall short or even act as adversaries of our LGBTQ community. (If you weren’t aware, currently a third of the world criminalizes LGBT people.) Blockchain and the LGBT Token allow transactions to be made while preventing the “outing” of a user against his will.
As of now, Hornet users who contribute to the community (through being a moderator, translator or beta tester, for instance) receive perks in the form of the LGBT Token into their Hornet Wallet, and in the future the token will be implemented throughout even more aspects of the app.
4. Hornet invites hackers to ‘break in’ so we can learn from it.
For years now, Hornet has employed a “bug bounty program” in cooperation with HackerOne that incentivizes tech-savvy community members to identify and report vulnerabilities they find in the app. By constantly challenging hackers to break our own defenses (and actually paying them a bounty when they’re successful) Hornet is able to remedy any weaknesses before they’re exploited by malicious actors.
5. The Hornet Community itself — that means you — helps ensure we’re a safe platform for users.
Last, it should be mentioned that the Hornet Community itself — our worldwide user base of 25 million guys and growing — is a means of maintaining user safety. As a social network, we want to ensure there’s a culture of mutual respect, and users like you help protect each other from the toxicity you find on some other platforms. A healthy community fosters better behavior in all of us, bringing out the best in us all.
Going forward, Hornet will continue to maintain high standards aimed at guaranteeing our users’ safety, and will continue providing a place for guys to connect to their community.