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Among the 25 users CNBC chatted with, one was engaging in a sexually explicit act while another was showing off his genitals.
Monkey is taking this seriously and being proactive to solve it." Monkey has been downloaded almost three million times since it launched in November 2016, according to mobile app analytics company App Annie, and averaged 300,000 monthly active users during Q2 of 2017.
(Monkey claims its actual usage is much higher, in the millions.) It's particularly popular among teens and young adults.
When Turner received the call for Monkey, he was working at Washington DC-personalized retail offer startup Precise Target, doing back end and front end development. Turner's love for coding started when he was 11, he claims.
By 12, he was hacking his friends' TV cable boxes to remove any parental blocks.
"I'm sorry that you experienced explicit content," Turner said.
"Our biggest focus when we built it from day one we wanted to create a community without inappropriate content," Turner said.
(Monkey says that the average age of its users is only 17.) Monkey is the brainchild of Turner and co-founder Ben Pasternak."If I hadn't done it I wouldn't have started Monkey, and Monkey is one of the best things that happened." To avoid the issues with its predecessor, Monkey employees – who have an average age of 18 – built AI to detect inappropriate content, Turner says. Once reported, the AI scans the chat, according to Turner.If it detects any explicit content, the user is banned automatically.(Turner points out that no other social network can verify age either.)But some users are slipping through the cracks. "Interestingly, it's not teenagers who tend to perpetuate explicit behavior; it's adults," he said."Teenagers are using the space for its intent: connection to internet friends." He also noted other apps dealt with the same issues, but were able to prevent inappropriate content as they matured.But a brief time on the app revealed the same issues that brought down Chatroulette after a brief period of massive popularity in 2010.