MXit commends community for fighting cyber crime

MXit today commended its social community for blowing the whistle on a man attempting to sell explicit material on its platform

August 15, 2011

The social network, the biggest in Africa, has taken a tough stance on cyber crime. Besides adopting some of the most stringent global social networking security measures, MXit also proactively works with the SAPS and its Cyber Crime Unit to eradicate any criminal behaviour on the platform. MXit also provides the SAPS with social media training to assist police in understand the social landscape.

“We will not tolerate any abuse of our platform. We have worked really hard to make MXit one of the safest global social networks and we are really pleased that our community is joining us in keeping our collective social environment free of crime or any unsavoury element,” says Juan Du Toit, International Business Development and Marketing Head of MXit.

MXit has also ensured that its entire operation complies with the Film and Publications Amendment Act, which issues guidelines on the protection of minors.

The social network recently reinvented its look and in addition to its normal safety features, it included a number of new security measures, including allowing users to manage their privacy settings by enabling or disabling their profiles in public searches.

But today, MXit also slammed the media for deliberately omitting to tell the public that the man also used email and other social networks to sell his photographs.

“This is a serious case, especially since it involves children.  The public has the right to hear the whole truth, and all the facts, not only those that are aimed at selling newspapers.  This case isn’t isolated to MXit, it is believed that the man also used email, instant messaging platforms and other social networks.  We urge media to report the whole truth,” says Du Toit.

MXit also reminded its users to be vigilant when engaging on social platforms and the internet.

“We urge our younger users to be careful when engaging with people that they do not know.  The only way that a person can chat or engage with another on MXit is if the user approves him or her as a friend.  Please use common sense when engaging on any social platform,” says Du Toit.

MXit users can alert the network to inappropriate behaviour by typing a “.rat” command when they are in a chat environment.  This allows MXit’s legion of moderators to see the last 30 strings of conversation, and react appropriately.

MXit has the following security measures in place to protect its users:

  1. Chatrooms are moderated for up to 14 hours a day – with extensive moderator presence available in all Teen Zones.
  2. A Chatroom Blocking feature is available for parents with children of a sensitive age, which enables them to block access to this environment on MXit. (See MXit > Info > Chat Zone Block).
  3. In compliance with the Child Protection Act, MXit does not allow adults to engage with children or teenagers. All chatrooms are split into the age groups 13 to 17, 18+ and adult, to ensure that the interaction in the chatrooms is age appropriate.
  4. The private chatroom feature has been disabled to users aged between 13 to 17 years‟ old. This measure ensures that a young person is further protected from “going private‟ with a stranger who has dubious motives.
  5. A user can set up their own chatroom with their friends and password-protect it. This ensures that access is by invitation only – and after 36 hours of inactivity the room will shut down.
  6. User identity remains anonymous when he or she is in a (public) Chat Zone.
  7. Typing in a “.rat” command, when in a chat room on MXit, will allow a user to report any abuse they may experience on MXit. MXit then receives the authority to see the last 30 strings of this conversation; and will follow up within 6 to 12 working/office hours.
  8. A user navigating MXit is continually prompted not to reveal any personal information, including user profiles, personal details and/or photographs. Every time a user enters a Chat Zone, he or she is reminded to keep all personal details private.
  9. All chatrooms contain profanity filters.
  10. MXit’s Dating Game is age restricted to 18+ and all profiles are randomly moderated.
  11. MXit Xchange, the classifieds service of MXit, is moderated 24 hours a day and every post is moderated before it‟s posted on MXit.
  12. MXit’s terms and conditions state that a user‟s minimum age has to be 13 years. This is to protect vulnerable users who may not be emotionally mature enough to engage with this type of platform.
  13. Defamatory material circulating on MXit must be reported to [email protected]
  14. Should the material contravene our terms and conditions, and cause harm to innocent victims, we will remove the material. However, this will be at our sole discretion and we will consider privacy regulations. When forwarding the material always ensure that the name of the said file is included in the mail. MXit will then remove the material from all profiles that have it saved to their galleries.
  15. MXit will suspend or ban users that abuse its technology – and in extreme cases, following correct legal process, it will assist authorities when the abuse warrants their involvement.

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