But what if you don’t know it’s wrong?

picturerules_smallerwatAgame is running Momio, a social media targeted at 7 to 12-year-old kids.  For many kids, Momio is the first social media experience and therefore a place to learn the rules of online life.

That creates some interesting situations. For example, it became somewhat of a trend to share pictures of mistreated animals. The kids who did this had their heart in the right place: They wanted to spread awareness and stop the torture. But some others found those pictures very upsetting – which they also are.

We decided to forbid sharing those pictures. But because most of these kids shared them with good intentions, we needed to come up with a way to tell it nicely.

It’s important to tell why not

We gathered the reasons that create most problems with pictures and started to develop a new kind of overlay. Two things were clear: It should explain why something is wrong (a philosophy we follow all over Momio) and it shouldn’t be tedious for the user.

In the picture you can see the finished product. It’s an overlay that the user sees when uploading a picture. There are five rules, all of which have to be accepted. If the picture doesn’t follow one or more of the rules, it can’t be uploaded.

The users go through all rules and explanations the first times they upload a picture. Even after that we sometimes show a condensed version of the overlay to make sure they remember the rules.

So why did we do this?

The picture rules overlay was launched on Momio on 14th of October 2014. We believe it will help to make our young users understand what is OK and what is not, and in that way help make Momio an even nicer and safer place to be in.

“No pictures of suffering animals” is only one of the five rules we put in. Can you guess what the rest are?

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About the author:

Silja Nielsen, watAgame

Silja Nielsen is Head of Community and Safety at watAgame. She has been a watAgamer since 2010. Silja has a master’s degree in Media Studies and is interested in privacy, online behaviour and online communities.