INTERVIEW: Bark’s CPO Titania Jordan

Why does Bark monitor for cyberbullying?

The majority of children aged 7-17 will experience cyberbullying at some point in their lives, negatively impacting their mental health. In 2018, we analyzed over 900 million messages across texts, email, social media, and school-issued Google and Microsoft accounts of over 2.6M children ages 8-17. Based on this data, we found that 62.2% of tweens and 70.5% of teens experienced cyberbullying (as a bully, victim, or witness).

With slang changing at a rapid speed, how do you keep up with its evolution? Is there a special group of people monitoring the changes?

Bark’s AI works quietly in the background of children’s devices, keeping an eye out for concerning online activities. This includes a wide range of potential issues, including cyberbullying, adult content, sexual predators, drug use, depression, suicidal ideation, threats of violence, and more.

Our advanced machine-learning technology analyzes context, not just keywords. Our software analyzes text, images, audio, and video, and the Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) is trained to understand the variations of slang.

Some slang and cyberbullying can come in the way of a meme or a picture — how does bark monitoring memes and pictures? Is there a specific way? Is it something that is being done at the moment or something that is being worked on?

Bark analyzes both images and video associated with a message and stored on a device. This content is analyzed for nudity, violence, and other inappropriate content, including layered text added after the fact.

What would you say has been the most challenging aspect when it comes to monitoring kids today?

Educating parents on the very real and pervasive dangers that exist within that slick smartphone, the apps that live within, and the constant connectivity that comes with new technology.

What else is happening next in your world?

We are looking to expand outside of the United States and bring Bark to parents and schools across the globe, in multiple languages.

Learn more here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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