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Dating app Badoo uses AI to blur unwanted intimate photos

Dating app Badoo has launched a new safety feature that uses AI to detect unsolicited nudes that get sent through the app.

Badoo, which has been described as ‘like Facebook but for sex’, says its ‘private detector’ has a 98 per cent accuracy rate when covering up intimate photos.

The feature’s AI identifies potentially offending photos, automatically blurs them and gives users a warning that they could contain ‘inappropriate content’.

Users are then given the choice to open and view the content or block the explicit image and report it to the app’s moderation team.

The feature was introduced to the ‘feminist dating app’ Bumble last year, which is owned by the same holding company as Badoo. 

Badoo said the feature covers up ‘dick pics’, nudes and ‘any other type of images that are of an intimate nature’. 

Following a boom in online dating during lockdown, Badoo said it wants to ‘make users think twice’ before pressing send on explicit images.

‘The safety of our users is of the utmost importance to us and we continuously seek to be at the forefront of technological advances which enable us to help protect daters on our platform,’ said Natasha Briefel, UK marketing director at Badoo.

‘The private detector is one of many safety features we have implemented on Badoo, which also includes profile verification, photo moderation and chat limits.

‘We want to create a safe space for our users where they feel empowered to chat, meet, and date honestly while giving them the best chance of forming a real connection.’  

Badoo, which has more than 500 million users, lets users contact people who live in their area and send messages. 

In a chat thread, if the AI detects a questionable image that’s been sent by the other person, it will appear as a blurred box with a warning message overlaid.

The message reads: ‘This photo can contain inappropriate content. Open it on your own risk. Tap to see the photo.’ 

Alternatively, users can tap ‘Decline’ under the photo box if they don’t want to see the photo.   

MailOnline has contacted Badoo regarding how the AI was trained to recognise unsolicited images.  

Badoo users are encouraged to report any image they are unhappy to receive to Badoo’s team of moderators for review, whether or not they’ve chosen to view or block the image using private detector.    

The app’s new feature has been launched with a spoof shopping channel-style infomercial, starring British rapper Big Narstie.

The rapper is seen interrupting a cheesy shopping channel host selling a fictional ‘self-d filter’ designed to jazz up phallic pics before they are sent.

Big Narstie advises viewers to get consent before they attempt to send intimate pictures and ‘avoid being a weirdo’. 

Private detector was first unveiled on the female-focused dating app Bumble, which is owned by the same holding company as Badoo – London-based MagicLab. 

‘The sharing of lewd images is a global issue of critical importance and it falls upon all of us in the social media and social networking worlds to lead by example and to refuse to tolerate inappropriate behaviour on our platforms,’ said MagicLab founder Andrey Andreev at the time.

Andreev had promised to roll the feature out to the other dating apps under the MagicLab umbrella – Chappy, which is specifically for gay men, and over 50s-focused Lumen, as well as Badoo. 

Badoo said the private detector is the latest addition to its list of security features, which also includes profile verification, photo moderation and video chat and chat limits to create ‘a safe and welcoming space for users’. 

On its website, Badoo says it moderates all photos that are uploaded to a user’s profile, but ‘very occasionally the wrong images slip through’. 

Badoo users who find other users’ behaviour or language abusive can let the app know by clicking on the three-dotted icon in the top right corner on the profile page and select ‘block or report’. 

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