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Streaming app BIGO Live under scrutiny for indecent posts

Following the misuse of live-streaming application BIGO Live by social media users, the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has been urged to look into the matter and potentially get it banned. Misuse of the app includes the inappropriate use for the indecent exposure of one’s body. This is followed by the posting of indecent comments by a user’s followers – which demand more explicit activity.

According to a report on Bernama, the application was called out by senator Datuk Mustapa Kamal Mohd Yusoff, who called the app a “social media prostitute”.  He also flagged the app as being a danger to the development of members of the young generation, especially children still in school. This was said during a royal address at the Dewan Negara.

Datuk Mustapa Kamal Mohd Yusoff is not the only one who has criticised the app.  User-generated reviews on the application’s Google Play Store have also called BIGO Live out for not banning users who misuse the app following reports on abuse. It has also been panned by several users for its ban rules.

BIGO Live is developed by Singapore-based BIGO Technology, which focuses on video broadcast and VoIP related product and services all over the world. Through the app, account owners are able to earn income through “gifts” given by followers during live streaming sessions.

In a statement to A+M, a BIGO spokesperson clarified that BIGO LIVE has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual content involving minors and children. The spokesperson also disputed the report, adding that there were some factual discrepancies.

“This is especially with regards to our censorship guidelines where we have strict guidelines for users to ensure that the platform is a safer environment for users,” the spokesperson said.

“Commenting or engaging in any type of activity that sexualises minors will immediately result in an account termination. In cases where a stream contains child sexual abuse imagery, our team will report it to law enforcement agencies,” the spokesperson explained.

The spokesperson added that as part of its censorship guidelines, BIGO has several measures in place. This includes in-app prompts to inform users what is appropriate content for live streaming, moderator officers based globally and an AI system to monitor content 24 hours, seven days a week to bring down inappropriate content.

BIGO LIVE also uses a phone IP Identifier to ban repeated offenders which bars access to the app. Users are also able to mute and flag inappropriate contents to help ensure the platform becomes a safe environment for the community. Additionally, the platform engages user moderators to further flag for inappropriate contents

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