This article originally appeared on 60 Second Social.
Barely three months in and both Meerkat and Periscope have a problem – sexually charged content. Have a look yourself, wandering around either platform it is not hard to find racy streams. It is in fact really easy to find such content particularly on Meerkat where you can find streamers flashing a boob or other bits of flesh, commenters begging for more.
The problem lies within the unique selling points of the apps themselves, because we are dealing with real time content which is unedited and is happening at that very moment in time it means that anything can happen, even footage which boarders on softcore porn.
So why is it easier to find such content on Meerkat as opposed to others? Quite simply, Meerkat has a leaderboard where the most prolific users are tallied and ranked. This is based on data such as number of viewers, time streamed and engagement. The leaderboard is topped by Madonna at the moment however in the number two spot is LA based model Nora Segura who has been posting some cheeky streams lately.
Sexual content streams do exist on Periscope however they are more elusive as there is no leaderboard feature to swipe through, however just opening the app this morning as I am typing this post and in the section of “Global Content” there are several streams which are titled along the lines of a sexual nature.
Both Meerkat and Periscope have report features however with the content being real time there is only so much that they can do at the moment. The unique selling point of these apps is also a unique problem to apps of this nature. They are fast to react to explicit content however there is no preventative measures in place at the moment and even at that, how can you put preventative measures in place for a real time app anyway?
Both services have a slightly different approach to dealing with content which is reported. Meerkat is more automated, once a stream is reported a specific number of times then it is automatically yanked from the app. Periscope on the other hand has a content team which “takes an appropriate course of action,” they also point out that pornography is prohibited by Periscope’s content policy. However that is a grey area in itself, what do these apps regard as pornography?
Do they allow side boob but not nipple? Do they allow butt crack? How about accidental butt crack or showing the whole thing? What are they using to gauge which content is acceptable and which content is not?
Live streaming has been around for a long time, however it is only starting to boom now with apps such as Meerkat and Periscope making it easily and widely available to users all over the world. This was always going to be a problem for live streaming services when they hit the main stream circuit however Jeff Jarvis, a media pundit and journalism professor in New York maintains that there will be winners in the long run who will figure out just how to police indecent content. He says that;
“For now we’ll see some naked body parts,” but these services won’t let it go on. I don’t think it’s going to be a problem for long.”
About The Author
Mark is the founder of 60 Second Social media where he provides social media news and digital marketing analysis. You can follow him on Twitter here. You can also follow 60 Second Social on Twitter here. Or you can drop Mark an email at, [email protected]