MXit, Africa’s largest mobile social network, has taken a tough stance on cybercrime on its platform by adopting some of the most stringent social networking security guidelines available.
The social network recently reinvented its look and in addition to its normal safety features, it included a number of new security measures, including allowing users to manage their privacy settings by enabling or disabling their profiles in public searches.
MXit has also proactively contacted the South African Police Services to offer its support in bringing those that abuse its platform to book and to offer the SAPS social media training.
“We have worked really hard to make MXit one of the safest social platforms available anywhere and we simply will not condone any abuse of our platform or potential abuse by any person in our community of users,” says Juan du Toit, marketing & business development executive for MXit.
Despite the safety and security features available on MXit, the social network reminds its users to be vigilant when engaging on social platforms and the Internet.
“We urge our younger users to be careful when engaging with people that they do not know. The only way that a person can chat or engage with another on MXit is if the user approves him or her as a friend. Please use common sense when engaging on any social platform,” says Du Toit.
MXit continuously reminds its users to be vigilant and to notify them of any unsavoury element. The network bans users that are caught being irresponsible and doing anything that puts other users at risk. Parents are able to block the chat room features if they believe that their teens are not abiding by the rules.
MXit lists the following security measures now in place:
1. Chatrooms are moderated for up to 14 hours a day – with extensive moderator presence available in all Teen Zones.
2. A Chatroom Blocking feature is available for parents with children of a sensitive age, which enables them to block access to this environment on MXit. (See MXit > Info > Chat Zone Block).
3. In compliance with the Child Protection Act, MXit does not allow adults to engage with children or teenagers. All chatrooms are split into the age groups 13 to 17, 18+ and adult, to ensure that the interaction in the chatrooms is age appropriate.
4. The private chatroom feature has been disabled to users aged between 13 to 17 years‟ old. This measure ensures that a young person is further protected from “going private‟ with a stranger who has dubious motives.
5. A user can set up their own chatroom with their friends and password-protect it. This ensures that access is by invitation only – and after 36 hours of inactivity the room will shut down.
6. User identity remains anonymous when he or she is in a (public) Chat Zone.
7. Typing in a “.rat” command, when in a chat room on MXit, will allow a user to report any abuse they may experience on MXit. MXit then receives the authority to see the last 30 strings of this conversation; and will follow up within 6 to 12 working/office hours.
8. A user navigating MXit is continually prompted not to reveal any personal information, including user profiles, personal details and/or photographs. Every time a user enters a Chat Zone, he or she is reminded to keep all personal details private.
9. All chatrooms contain profanity filters.
10. MXit’s Dating Game is age restricted to 18+ and all profiles are randomly moderated.
11. MXit Xchange, the classifieds service of MXit, is moderated 24 hours a day and every post is moderated before it‟s posted on MXit.
12. MXit’s terms and conditions state that a user‟s minimum age has to be 13 years. This is to protect vulnerable users who may not be emotionally mature enough to engage with this type of platform.
13. Defamatory material circulating on MXit must be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org
14. MXit will suspend or ban users that abuse its technology – and in extreme cases, following correct legal process, it will assist authorities when the abuse warrants their involvement.