The New York Times referenced two of The Meet Group’s apps, Skout and MeetMe, in a recent article on men arranging to meet teenagers via social platforms.
Questions have since been raised about the nature of content on livestreaming services, with some alleging that users are sending money to creators in exchange for the performance of sex acts. Seeking Alpha branded The Meet Group’s stock “uninvestible” because of such fears.
Nudity is banned in The Meet Group’s terms of service text, which is common across both Skout and MeetMe.
Approximately 75% of the company’s revenue now comes from gifting payments. Users buy virtual gifts to send to streamers, which can then be exchanged for real money, of which The Meet Group takes a cut.
Tipping in this way is not illegal in the US, even on profane content, but monetisation from sexual activity is against Apple’s terms of service. Seeking Alpha is now suggesting that apps owned by The Meet Group are at risk of being taken down by the App Store and Google Play Store, despite its policies banning such video.
Share prices dropped by 9% immediately after the analysts published the review, but since they have largely recovered. The Meet Group has released an official statement responding to the criticism and reaffirming its commitment to clean video and user safety.
It says safety is a “top priority”, with 45% of its workforce dedicated to regulating content – removing 3,000 offensive profiles every day. New members are also screened against a database of known sex offenders, and existing users are often reminded about the dangers of meeting strangers in the real world.
Momo and Tantan temporarily suspended their newsfeeds in order to review the screening process of user-generated content following pressure from the Chinese government. Tantan had been removed from several major Android app stores not long before.
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