Safe Community Development

If you have a Website that could attract children or teens, there’s a lot that can go wrong. If even one child is hurt by bullying, links to unsuitable content or sexual predation, it would be terrible for the child. It could also tarnish your organisation’s reputation, ruin your project and cripple your business.

The good news is… we have saved our clients £millions through more effective project and software design. KOKO helps top media and education organisations, for example, we helped J.K.Rowling build child safety into her Harry Potter social reading site.  We helped with all the child safety aspects – from reviewing the software specification, crafting the call for tenders, helping with supplier selection, reviewing the community functionality, crafting child protection policies and safeguarding procedures – right through to the launch and beyond.

Bringing Harry Potter to Life

J.K.Rowling’s Pottermore is a unique website which builds an exciting online experience around the reading of her hugely successful Harry Potter books.

The storyline is brought to life with sumptuous illustrations and interactive ‘Moments’ through which you can navigate, starting with the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. On entering, you choose a magic username and begin your experience. As you move through the chapters, you can read and share exclusive writing from J.K. Rowling, and, just as Harry joins Hogwarts, so can you. You visit Diagon Alley, get sorted into a house, cast spells and mix potions to help your house compete for the House Cup.

“I wanted to give something back to the fans that have followed Harry so devotedly over the years, and to bring the stories to a new digital generation. I hope fans and those new to Harry will have as much fun helping to shape Pottermore as I have.” – J.K.Rowling

Community Safety Assessment

Robert and Carole Hart-Fletcher, founders of KOKO, were invited at an early stage of the Pottermore project specification to carry out an in-depth Community Safety Assessment to help specify pertinent site functionality, automated moderation systems and human moderation practices.

We assessed the risks for child and adult users, contributed to the specification of the scope, purpose and ethos of the community.  We advised on all aspects of user safety and helped with evaluating the tendering development agencies with particular focus on their understanding of child safety and online risks. We then worked closely with the agency Rowling selected to continuously audit safety provision and practice as the project developed.

“Just as I have contributed to the website, everyone else will be able to join in by submitting their own comments, drawings and other content in a safe and friendly environment – Pottermore has been designed as a place to share the stories with your friends as you journey through the site.”  – J.K.Rowling

We carried out a review of the Community Guidelines and the Community Rules for site users. We helped specify the moderation system requirements and moderation workflow.

We carried out in-depth assessment of the available moderation software tools and evaluated the major suppliers of outsourced human content moderation services. We then worked closely with the selected moderation company to develop the Moderation Guidelines and the Escalation Procedures for any potential child-at-risk incidents.

In preparation for the website’s international roll-out, we researched and reported on national child safety policies and requirements in dozens of target countries and recommended strategic child safety partnerships with international organizations.

Safe by Design

J.K.Rowling was most determined that her project would be safe for users. We helped her make it safe from the start, with user safety built in to every activity and with efficient moderation tools and procedures and a cost-effective and scalable human moderation service.

The project was launched with millions of users subscribing on the first day and has been running successfully and safely since then.