INHOPE | Webinar Recap: User Empowerment within the Metaverse
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Webinar Recap: User Empowerment within the Metaverse

Elyse Lee, Head of Policy and Engagement at ZEPETO kicked off our 2024 Expert Insights Webinar series to provide a unique insight into how ZEPETO fosters safety by educating and empowering young users on their platform.

As one of the fastest-growing metaverse platforms for a primarily female Gen-Z audience, ZEPETO has many opportunities to facilitate safe and educated experiences on its platform. After founding its first Trust and Safety team in 2022, ZEPETO has rapidly adapted to its users' safety needs through a holistic approach utilising reactive and proactive safety features.

"Protecting our community is not just about detecting and removing abuse. It's about user empowerment and education." - Elyse Lee

Learning From the ZEPETO Community

Empowerment, Elyse elaborated, starts with understanding who their users are and learning about the opportunities and challenges they experience on their platform. Through community research, ZEPETO learned how to engage with their Gen-Z audience successfully and applied the following principles across all their safety features:

  • Avoiding long text content. Instead, focus on delivering resources and education through short-form video content in highly visible user channels.
  • Utilising in-app gifts to incentivise good behaviour.
  • Peer advice instead of one-way communication and authoritative tone of voice.

Empowering Users through Intuitive Safety Tools & Creative Solutions

  • Accessible Reporting: ZEPETO's reporting menu empowers users to report abusive conduct through an accessible menu that lists the most harmful violations at the top - for easy access. Additionally, Elyse stressed the importance of offering a space for young users to provide further details about their reports and to empower them to talk about their experiences.

  • Soteria: ZEPETO's safety avatar 'Soteria' acts as an interactive account on the platform, educating, empowering and encouraging users to stay safe on the platform and helping cultivate healthy, respectful online behaviours. Speaking the language of ZEPETO's young users, Soteria teaches important tips and tricks through short-form video content, that also provides access points to additional youth resources in ZEPETO's Safety Center. The influencer avatar, with over 50 million followers, is a default follow account for all new users to encourage everyone who joins ZEPETO to familiarise themselves with critical safety information.

  • Activating the Community: Elyse also highlighted how ZEPETO activates its community through creative and functional programming to enhance safety efforts and inspire users. For Safer Internet Day this year, ZEPETO hosted a week-long content event focused on the theme of “wellness, self-respect, and identity.” Drawing over 50,000 submissions, the event tasked users to post a video using a specially designed #SID2024 template featuring Soteria with a description of how they practice self-care.

  • The Clean ZEPETO Quiz: All tech platforms want their users to read and understand community guidelines. Recognising that young users are more likely to retain information through interactive learning, ZEPETO gamified the experience in their 'Clean ZEPETO Quiz'. Rewarding users who participate with in-app gifts, ZEPETO has recorded nearly 1 million participants, all reporting positive feedback on how engaging they found the experience.

  • DM Safety Alerts: Through ZEPETO's new DM Safety Alerts, the app sets clear expectations for its users on how to respect community guidelines. Elyse illustrated how AI scans for abusive or inappropriate language in users' DMs without retaining private user data. Anytime harmful language or content is detected the user receives an alert, nudging the sender to abide by community guidelines. Simultaneously, the message recipient is provided with resources on how to report users who make them uncomfortable. Since the implementation of these alerts, Elyse shared, ZEPETO has witnessed a significant increase in reports, as well as user report accuracy as kids grow more and more savvy in recognising potentially harmful situations.

Next Steps for ZEPETO

Since ZEPETO's Trust and Safety team launched two years ago, its goal has been to gather actionable data insights to update its community guidelines and improve its enforcement and user empowerment systems to better serve its users. With this progress, they are now entering phase three of their trust and safety efforts - ZEPETO's first-ever Community Report, which outlines enforcement actions taken against platform policy violations.

"We are going to use these data insights to focus on what areas our users need more education on and what risks they are facing the most, to prioritise our strategy and safety initiatives going forward." - Elyse Lee

You can learn more about ZEPETO and their trust and safety efforts here. Visit ZEPETO's Safety Center and Company Blog

Webinar Recap: User Empowerment within the Metaverse

Protecting our community is not just about detecting and removing abuse, it’s about user empowerment and education.