In this modern technological world, we’re surrounded by sexuality. And when you’re a woman, this is a very real thing to fear when receiving messages on social media. As a parent, monitoring these kinds of behaviors online can be difficult to wrangle as well. Now, however, there’s a new feature that’s making folks from many walks of life — including parents — very excited.
SafeDM is a content filter for Twitter that aims to vaporize unsolicited penis pictures and make way for safe direct messages. The poduct went live on February 14th, and if you’re looking for a bit of an extra layer of protection for your child, this may be a great way to start.
SafeDM works by the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI). It was tried and tested vigorously by “eager” participants who sent in pictures of their goods (via the above tweet requesting for solicited images back in September) in order to make this service even more efficient. The content filter AI, once put into place with a quick setup, can identify penis pictures sent to a Twitter user’s direct message and will send an alert to inform the user that one was received. It also inform the sender that their message was inappropriate.
The Need Is Real
Unfortunately, 70% of millennial-aged women will receive an unsolicited penis picture. Modern-day parents should be aware of this as a real issue that merits both discussion and protective measures. SafeDM is a step towards both of those things.
In the process of testing and developing AI for the content filter, founder Kelsey Bressler has gotten a flood of positive feedback from would-be users. Not all of them were women, either. Bressler tells Parentology that some were men apologizing for the fact that the tool even needed to be developed in the first place. Others were single parents, particularly parents of daughters, and “… dads [who] are glad that I’m working on it because they have daughters and they don’t want them to have to deal with this,” she says.
Suddenly it seemed that she had run into an unexpected turn of positivity. The content filter that Bressler and her small team developed was not initially intended or built with parents in mind.
“It was designed with women in mind with kids being an afterthought,” she explains. “It was a bonus.”
Upon learning of the curiosity and desire for this use of her content filter Bressler recently put up a tweet inquiring further information about parenting usage of the tool. As expected, there were several tweets responding in praise of it. One responder said they’d like to see it on all social media apps. Bressler is hopeful that it may be possible in the future, but that it would depend on the platforms allowing permissions in order for developers to integrate it.
Currently, the SafeDM dashboard is accessible to users once they’ve installed the content filter via Twitter. Options are limited to turning things on, off, and moderating tools, and there is not a specific section for parental control organization.
“There [will be] a dashboard feature where you can turn [the content filter] on and off,” Bressler says. “Maybe in the future, there will be parent features in there but as of right now there are no parent features.”
That said, Bressler and her team are open to feedback from users, and parents are welcome to send requests to the development team.
In the meantime, Bressler encourages parents to have important discussions with their children about unsolicited, NSFW (not safe for work) content since the current product does not give notifications outside of Twitter. Bressler also encourages parents to discuss things at the time of installation since they will need access to the child’s account to install it.
While the content filter went live for users to install for Twitter this week, as Bressler acknowledges, it’s not the entire solution that parents are hoping for.
“I think this tool will help parents sleep better at night,” she says. “It will take the stress off of them by keeping an eye on the account when maybe they can’t. SafeDM will enable [parents] to have some peace of mind to the messages that their kids are receiving. I think they will be able to step back and give their kids a little bit more control over their social media.”