Despite banning illegal content and preaching that it is a “fun and safe” site to find and create GIFs, the Giphy it still hosts a lot of content it says it doesn’t allow: child pornography and hate speech. The information was obtained by TechCrunch from a report produced by the Israeli online child protection startup L1ght.
Among the toxic content that is still on the website, GIFs incite child abuse, rape, white supremacy, hate speech and images that encourage weight loss and eating disorders.
Even though the platform blocks certain keywords and does not display such search results, mechanisms like Google and Bing still cache these images related to the terms.
In the L1ght tests, a search for illicit material resulted in 195 images already on the first result page. From there, the startup followed the hashtags associated with these GIFs until it found a network of toxic material. Certain hashtags, which were often about sites with this content, served for users to escape the automatic detection of Giphy and continue to find the material on the platform.
O TechCrunch did not disclose the keywords used in the search (even why, right?), but said he passed on the information to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a nonprofit organization in the US Congress that tries to combat child exploitation.
What Giphy says
Giphy’s chief of audience, Simon Gibson, told the TechCrunch that when the company identifies toxic content, it works to remove it and report it to the authorities, in addition to employing strict moderation protocols.
According to Gibson, for content to be indexed on Giphy pages, the user must make a request to the company. This image goes through a combination of computational and human verification.
If there is still doubt as to whether the content is harmful or not, the moderators forward the material to another internal team of confidence and security, who will do an additional review.
It is not the first time that Giphy has faced a disorder like this: Instagram and Snapchat have even removed GIFs from the platform because they contain material of racial injury indexed to searches. At the time, the company said the content went through the platform’s moderation filter and applied a correction.
With information: TechCrunch.