Out of Hours - How Online Chatbots Can Support

Out of Hours - How Online Chatbots Can Support

In February 2022, the Revenge Porn Helpline and Report Harmful Content launched a 24/7 chatbot, Reiya. Funded by the Comic Relief’s Tech for Good fund, the chatbot was developed in house after both Helplines detected over 60% of reports were coming in outside of the Helpline’s usual operating hours, showcasing a subsequent need for people to have access to support at any time of day. 

Reiya enables people to access advice, support and signposting to services about online harms whenever they may need it. Alongside this, Reiya gives users the option to share their details so that the Helplines can contact them with further information and support.  

Report Harmful Content 

Since launch, Reiya has encouraged a significant change in how users are contacting our Helplines, reducing the number of out-of-hours reports each service receives, whilst supporting thousands of additional queries. By considering data from the chatbot’s launch until the 30th November 2022, Reiya encouraged a 13% drop in out of hours reports to the service and had the desired effect of allowing people to access the information they need about online harms in their time of need.  

The latest 2022 Report Harmful Content Annual Report also breaks down how Reiya was being used by people affected by online harms, with pornographic content and bullying and harassment being the top issues that people selected. Overall, Report Harmful Content saw the chatbot used on 9,000 unique sessions, resulting in users interacting with the chatbot 65,000 times. 

Revenge Porn Helpline  

Similar patterns of popularity were found within the 2022 Revenge Porn Helpline Report, which saw Reiya support 6,000 unique uses of the chatbot and 41,000 interactions between the user and chatbot. Alongside this, Reiya was often used to report certain forms of image-based sexual abuse, with sextortion and sexual image sharing being the most reported issues to the chatbot.  

As trends around online harms continue to change, the Revenge Porn Helpline have made several significant updates to Reiya to address them, ensuring that all the information it provides is up to date and reflective of current trends and user needs. At the end of 2022, updates were made to Reiya to provide additional information on sextortion-related issues, which were one of the biggest concerns reported to the chatbot over the year.   

Developing Technology to Support Others 

Tools such as Reiya demonstrate how effectively technology can be used as an additional aid by our Helplines and services to support those affected by online harms, particularly in a climate where technology is constantly advancing.  

Alongside Reiya, SWGfL have developed several innovative products to help support anonymous reporting, with Whisper enabling school communities to have the confidence to reach out.  

If you want to learn more about how Reiya has shaped Revenge Porn Helpline and Report Harmful Content in 2022, you can view their latest reports here: 

Report Harmful Content Report

Revenge Porn Helpline Report 

If you would like to use Reiya to contact our services or get more advice, you can access the Report Harmful Content or the Revenge Porn Helpline websites and click the chatbot in the bottom right corner of the website.  

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