Interview: RealMe, Spectrum Labs and UrSafe Executives Discuss Revolutionary CheckPlus Security Tool
RealMe, Spectrum Labs and UrSafe partnered together last year to release CheckPlus, a comprehensive security tool that allows dating apps to identify bad actors across online and offline behavior, and users to transition from apps to offline dates as safely as possible.
Dating apps mitigate risk and create safer environments through CheckPlus, bridging the online, in-app and offline data for individual users. CheckPlus takes data provided by RealMe and Spectrum Labs to help singles decide if they feel confident about meeting any of their matches in person. They then have the UrSafe technology to quickly get help if anything goes wrong on the date.
It’s a feature most online daters would use, as a recent survey from FTI Consulting found almost every respondent (98%) said they’d like access to a reputation checker that concisely pulls together public information about their matches.
We caught up with RealMe’s Chief Business Officer Neil Davis, Spectrum Labs’ CEO and co-founder Justin Davis, and UrSafe CEO and co-founder Anthony Oyogoa to learn more about how CheckPlus works and why dating platforms should be utilising it to protect their community.
Neil Davis (ND) is Chief Business Officer at RealMe, a no-cost, turnkey technology solution to protect online marketplaces and their users. With more than 30 years in corporate and business development, Neil brings valuable strategic expertise and digital understanding to the RealMe executive team.
Prior to joining RealMe, Neil served as Chief Business Officer and a board member for uCast Global, where he spearheaded key revenue relationships and global partnerships for the company. Neil also held senior management positions at Winnick & Co., AOL, and other high-profile companies based in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, and Dallas.
Anthony Oyogoa, MD (AO) is the CEO and Co-Founder of UrSafe, a global security app offering next-generation personal safety technology to empower everyone to stay safe anytime, anywhere. Born and raised in Nigeria and then the United Kingdom, Anthony is a medical professional and business entrepreneur based out of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Before working on UrSafe, Anthony founded i-Rotation, an app designed to streamline the entire healthcare education workflow from A to Z using innovative technology to manage clinical rotations, transform accreditation review, and validate clinical training.
Justin Davis (JD), CEO and Co-Founder at Spectrum Labs.
To begin, can you share an overview of CheckPlus?
ND: “Absolutely. We’re proud to announce the first to market product that comprehensively evaluates risk associated with dating app users at every stage, bridging in-app, off-app, and offline protection. Here at RealMe, we provide our dating partners with information such as personal data, criminal flags, social media behavior and sex offender status which when used in partnership with Spectrum Labs, can help dating platforms to identify patterns of harassing or toxic behavior amongst users.
“To complete our holistic user risk management tool, we look to UrSafe to deliver offline security. This collaboration is designed to create safer environments by increasing user’s trust and engagement with online platforms such as dating apps and other marketplaces.”
How will dating apps and their users benefit from CheckPlus?
ND: “Our research shows that 80% of online daters would be more likely to trust a dating platform if it offers user verification features and would spend more time on a platform if it was part of the user experience. By including verification on dating apps, users will build trust and create opportunities for greater engagement, lower churn and enhanced lifetime value. Users will benefit by having a comprehensive experience with both verification and access to reputation data to mitigate risk and create safe online and offline experiences. It’s important to know that CheckPlus is not only a tool to build safer online environments, but it also empowers how users access, understand and consider reputation and ultimately, make informed decisions.”
JD: “Spectrum Labs helps dating apps recognize and respond to harmful toxic behaviors in real-time, across all languages. By protecting members from toxicity, dating apps are able to safeguard the member experience and revenue.”
AO: “The benefit of a dating partner having CheckPlus for their user is showing they are committed to making the platform and dating experience as safe and healthy as possible. Users of their app will know that the platform promotes healthy conversations and interactions via Spectrum Labs, informs users of possible toxic members with RealMe partnership, and lastly ensures a safe in-person meeting through the UrSafe app.”
When a dating app integrates the CheckPlus tool onto their platform, what information is analyzed and what can dating app users expect to receive?
ND: “Most importantly, CheckPlus corroborates personal data, Reputation Score, criminal flags, and sex offender status. Upon authentication, the dating app partner uses Spectrum Labs to ID patterns of harassing or toxic behavior and then reports it back to the platform. Which, at that point, the data then associates with a user who is RealMe verified. For example, if the users’ information shows they have a criminal background or other not-so desirable information, the app can decide whether to keep the user.”
JD: “Spectrum Labs’ dating app customers choose behavior identification models that are important to them to prevent, like harassment, general toxicity, etc. The models, which are fine-tuned to the customer’s unique requirements, deliver them labeled data that can be integrated into internal systems for action and analysis, or into Guardian, Spectrum’s moderation tool suite.”
Can you explain how the CheckPlus tool engages with Spectrum Labs’ contextual AI platform to respond and provide disruptive behavior information to the dating app?
JD: “Spectrum Labs utilizes traditional filters that reference a list of banned words to identify toxic behavior. As soon as questionable text is flagged, we evaluate entire conversations and surrounding metadata, making sure that we examine the text in the full context. This approach is 5x more effective than traditional filters at correctly identifying toxic behaviors.”
If CheckPlus identifies a user with harassing or disruptive behavior, how would CheckPlus go about alerting a dating app?
JD: “As part of CheckPlus, if the dating app was using Spectrum’s moderation tool suite, Guardian, an entry would appear in Guardian’s Moderation Queue. That entry would display the situation to the moderator so they can make an informed, quick decision.”
Once users secure an offline meeting, how does CheckPlus continue this level of user safety as they move off the app? Is offline behavior included in the user analysis?
AO: “The UrSafe app allows users to have a personal safety app in their pocket for their day to day life. CheckPlus offers users the option to activate the app to enhance safety options. Since the app can be used in situations outside the date (for neighborhood jog or reserving a Homestay) we don’t link a user’s SOS activations to a specific dating episode.”
“In some cases, we may receive a report from a user. Any information included in the report will be very transparent while respecting the privacy of the information provided to law enforcement and all parties as per our user agreement.”
UrSafe is the offline partner for CheckPlus, how does this help dating apps further mitigate risk for their users?
AO: “The user can create an account via the UrSafe app using one of our features:
1) “Follow Me” – for the journey to the offline meeting
2) “Check-In” – at a scheduled time, they can send a message to their loved ones notifying them they are settled in and comfortable
3) “Fake Call” – allows users to initiate an incoming call during the date that has the caller ID for an easy “excuse to leave”
4) “Voice-Activated SOS” where the panic protocol is initiated for law enforcement to be reached as well as the users loved ones instantly providing location details as well as a live video stream
UrSafe is committed to protecting your personal safety as well as the safety and security of your friends and family. You wouldn’t want to put drivers at risk by being the last car manufacturer that installs seat belts in cars. So why put your members at risk by not offering them a personal security app partnership that provides modern safety technology and is fully integrated with 911 to empower everyone to stay safe anytime, anywhere around the world.”