Two Hat Security Talk About The Potential For Video Games To Teach Vital Life Skills

Thank you for becoming an Official Gold Supporter for Stop Cyberbullying Day 2018. Why did you decide to support the day?

At Two Hat Security, we believe in a world free of online bullying, harassment, and child exploitation. We think that everyone should be free to share online without fear of harassment or abuse, so preventing cyberbullying is core to our mission. We admire the work that The Cybersmile Foundation does to support victims of cyberbullying, and we’ve been wanting to become official supporters of Stop Cyberbullying Day for a few years now. We’re honored to be Official Gold Supporters in 2018.

Tell us more about Two Hat Security and what you do?

Two Hat Security empowers gaming and social platforms to foster healthy online communities. Companies like Roblox, Wildworks (Animal Jam), Kabam (Marvel: Contest of Champions), and more use our enterprise-level content filter and automated moderation tool Community Sift to proactively identify, prevent, and take action on high-risk user-generated content.

Proactive moderation is a fundamental tool that companies can leverage to protect users and prevent cyberbullying on their platforms. We advocate for a multidisciplinary approach that includes real-time filtering, encouraging users to report disruptive behavior, and combining automation with human review. Healthy online communities are absolutely attainable — it’s all about using the right tools and promoting positive behavior. We’re eager to partner with more platforms of all demographics to help them build strong, engaged, and safe communities.

There’s been huge growth in video games. Have you done much work in the video game space?

We’ve been in the industry since 2012, working with games, virtual worlds, and social networks to protect their communities. This is such an important space, because every demographic plays video games. How do we foster positive, healthy communities for every age group, without sacrificing freedom of expression? We’re passionate about working on solutions and sharing them with the industry. Earlier this year we co-founded the Fair Play Alliance, a cross-industry initiative spanning over 70 gaming companies whose mission is to share research and best practices that drive lasting change in fostering fair play in online games.

Do you think games could be used more to foster good digital citizenship?

Absolutely. Playing is an inherently human activity. People across the world play games online. And, as social beings we form bonds when we play and when we communicate. The challenge is that we all come to online games with different expectations, and from different backgrounds and cultures. It’s crucial that digital citizenship and sportsmanship are embedded in the games we play, throughout the user journey, to encourage healthier communities and interactions, despite our differences.

We think that video games can teach all kinds of real-world skillsets including teamwork, and sportsmanship. Would you agree with this?

We’ve actually formed a partnership with Riot Games to support and promote their High School League of Legends Clubs initiative in Oceania, which uses gaming to teach students the values of sportsmanship. We’ve worked with the team in Australia to create teaching resources, including a paper about online risk and digital citizenship and a lesson plan focused on teaching teamwork and resilience. We’re working on a resource for parents right now. We’re hopeful that similar initiatives will start to happen around the world, as more people realize that online gaming and eSports are just as authentic — not to mention popular! — as traditional sports. They can be fantastic teaching tools for students of any age.

What do you think can and should be done to reduce the amount of abuse on the internet?

Organizations like The Cybersmile Foundation, and events like Stop Cyberbullying Day are part of the puzzle. It’s important that we continue to remind people that the avatars they interact with online are real people, with real feelings, and their actions have real consequences. And platforms need to realize that they cannot build a product that has social features without also implementing some kind of proactive moderation. We call it Healthy Community by Design — design your product with productive and respectful player interactions in mind.

What advice would you have for somebody who has been or is being affected by toxic behavior online?

First, make use of the reporting features on the platform where it happened. Most companies give you the option to report someone for abuse. Every process is different, so check the Community Guidelines, support section, or FAQ if you’re unsure how to report someone. There are also wonderful resources like the Crisis Text Line in the US, and of course Cybersmile provides 24 hour global support for people in need.

In 10 words or less, why should anyone reading this support Stop Cyberbullying Day?

Everyone deserves to share online without fearing abuse or harassment.

Visit Two Hat Security to discover more about their work.