New Okanagan startup fights online bullying, stalking

The brother of one of the founders of Club Penguin – the children’s virtual reality game that was sold to Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) for ...

The brother of one of the founders of Club Penguin – the children’s virtual reality game that was sold to Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) for $350 million – has a new venture that will allow online game providers to analyze chat to determine if bullying, stalking or otherwise offensive chatting is occurring among players.

Chris Priebe, who helped his brother, Lance Priebe, develop Club Penguin, recently won a $5,000 cash prize from the Venture Okanagan Spring Investors Forum for his new service, PottyMouth.

A creation of Priebe’s 2 Hat Security, PottyMouth can be used by online game companies to analyze chat. Priebe’s 2 Hat Security was one of six businesses that made presentations at the forum on April 3.

Many online games allow for both live audio chat and instant messaging among players, which raises concerns about bullying and stalking. Current filtering tools are crude, and only allow for specific words to be filtered.

PottyMouth uses an algorithm that analyzes word combinations that game providers can use to determine if players are involved in inappropriate chat. Without eavesdropping, game moderators can use the analysis to ban, mute or report players involved in inappropriate chat.

“Rather than focus strictly on good and bad words, the tools analyze how people combine words and whether – once read in context – the meaning is naughty or nice,” Okanagan College business professor Steve Watson said.

“Essentially, what they’ve done is design a better tool to help stop everything from cyber-bullying to potential pedophiles.”

nbennett@biv.com

@nbennett_biv

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