According to Pew Internet, a non-profit Internet and Technology Research Center, 41% of Americans have experienced online harassment – anything from offensive name-calling to more severe behaviors. At IMVU, our job is to make IMVU a safer place for all our users and that’s why we take online harassment seriously.
We spoke with our resident Community Manager, Shannon about how to empower our users to report harassment, and how our team steps in to protect you and your account.
IMVU: How can a user report harassment?
S: Harassment can happen in any part of the IMVU community. Built into the user experience, there are several opportunities to report or flag offensive behavior or content. For example, if you’re in a chat room, you can flag the chat, which will immediately send a portion of the chat log to an agent for review. You can report avatar photos, messages, Feed photos or comments, virtual products, Chat Rooms, etc. Our aim is to give a flagging option wherever abuse or harassment can occur.
The most important step is to make sure you are flagging the right item at the right time. For example, don’t flag an avatar image when you receive a nasty message from someone.
IMVU: How does IMVU deal with harassment?
S: IMVU wants its users to have fun and be safe. We get that sometimes our users will have an unpleasant experience so we give them the opportunity to flag.
The flag is sent to an IMVU agent who will investigate the case, determine if there’s been a violation of our Terms of Service, then determine the correct punishment, if any, for the violation.
IMVU: Is the flag and report anonymous?
S: Yes, we will always protect your anonymity because it protects you from any retaliation.
IMVU: What happens if you think you were unfairly reported?
S: If you think you were unfairly reported, you can file a help ticket to speak to an agent. We can’t always give you details if doing so would reveal the identity of the reporter.
IMVU: What can users do to help control harassment at IMVU?
S: To be more in control, be a moderator of the room or create your own public room. Proactive room owners and moderators have the ability to “boot” users from rooms when they’re behaving inappropriately.
It’s also important to let us know when you experience harassment. If you don’t report it, we won’t know, so please use our flagging system when necessary. We will likely not be able to help unless you first report the abuse.
We want to make sure that IMVU is a safe place for you to hang out with your friends and meet new people.
So make sure that you are having fun, being safe, and being kind to one another.
For more information on harassment and any Community-related questions, please visit our Community Center.