Our primary aim for creating Hello Pal, Travel Pal and Language Pal is to provide a way for you to meet new friends and easily share your culture and/or language with people from different countries and backgrounds. We believe we've clearly stated this intention in the app descriptions displayed in our website and in the individual App Store and Play Store pages.
We are aware that there are some users who interpreted "meet new friends" in the context of dating or "hooking up" (i.e., finding sexual partners). Most unfortunately, there are a few people who use our apps as a way to commit crime or harm others (e.g., harassing, blackmailing or scamming others).
We would like to clarify that our apps are NOT MEANT TO BE USED FOR DATING, HOOKING UP OR HARMING OTHERS IN ANY WAY.
While we can't fully control how people choose to use our apps, we would like to remind everyone once again that we have Community Guidelines in place. The Guidelines apply to all types of content that is shared through our apps, such as your profile, chats, posts and comments.
Please take the time to review the information below, so that you will be more aware of what types of content or activity is not allowed in our apps. We also provided information on how to keep yourself safe when using our apps, and what you can do when you meet someone or saw any content that violates our Guidelines.
FIRST THINGS FIRST:
We highly encourage you to read the full Guidelines in Section 5 of our Terms of Service (“Your conduct when using our Services”). View our Terms of Service here.
If you have time, please do read our Terms of Service completely. Aside from Section 5, you should definitely read Sections 1-4.
HOW TO STAY SAFE ONLINE:
(Note that these tips can be applied when using any online service, and not just for Hello Pal apps.)
1. Avoid giving your personal information to others, including your phone number, email address, handle or ID for other apps/services like WeChat, Whatsapp, Kakao Talk, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
If you want to connect with your Hello Pal friends through other apps/services, try to BE VERY SELECTIVE of who you give your information to. Just because someone asked for your phone number doesn't mean that you should readily give your number to them, especially if that is the first thing they ask for when you start chatting with them.
2. If someone asks you for odd pictures (e.g., "full body" pictures, pictures of your legs/feet, etc.), sensitive information (e.g., your real name, sexual preference, if you are a virgin, etc.), a voice/video call, or anything that you are uncomfortable with, DO NOT agree with their request.
You don't have to send or do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. If the other person won't stop asking for these things, please report them to us and stop chatting with them immediately.
3. If someone asks you for money or gifts, or they said they want to send you a gift, REFUSE THEIR OFFER.
If someone makes an offer that sounds too good to be true (e.g., they want to give you a "special gift" to show their appreciation for your friendship), DO NOT ACCEPT THEIR OFFER. Whatever they say, do not give them your address or contact information, and don't agree to send money or pay for anything. Just report them to us and stop chatting with them immediately.
4. Always be vigilant when chatting with others.
When you meet new people in real life, you wouldn't share your personal or sensitive information with them right away, would you? The same applies when you meet people through online apps or services.
If you are using our app for dating, try to get to know the other person first before you pursue the relationship further. Romance scammers do exist (even in other apps/services), so be very careful.
If you are unsure about basic information that someone shared with you, try checking their profile and/or posts. For example:
- If they said they are in South Korea, check the "Local Time" displayed in their profile. The "Local Time" is automatically calculated based on their actual physical location, so you can check whether the time shown there matches the current time in that country/location (use websites like TimeAndDate.com).
- If their profile picture(s) seems to look like a celebrity, they look very pretty/handsome, or some details in their profile seem too impressive (e.g., graduated from Harvard, they're an engineer, doctor, etc.), take the necessary precaution when chatting with them.
5. Think twice before you post or share anything in your profile, posts or chats.
Keep in mind that others may take screenshots of what you post, or they may misinterpret whatever you said or posted (e.g., if you say you are lonely or bored, others may assume that you are looking for a sexual chat). Try to avoid sharing anything that you will most likely regret later.
IF YOU MET SOMEONE OR SAW SOMETHING THAT VIOLATES OUR COMMUNITY GUIDELINES:
- To report someone: press the "..." button in the top right corner of the chat room or their profile, then choose "Report" from the menu.
- To report a post: press the "..." button in the bottom right corner of the post, then choose "Report" from the menu.
- To report comments: long-press the comment itself then choose "Report" from the menu.
- To Block someone: press "..." from their profile or inside a chat with them, then choose "Block" from the menu.
- You don't need to tell the other person that you reported them. Simply stop chatting or replying to their messages, then ignore the chat.
Avoid sharing or talking about the person or post in your profile or moments (e.g., publicly shaming others).
- Posting screenshots of other people's profile (or contact details for other apps/services), chats or posts is actually against our Community Guidelines. Your post may also encourage others to join in bullying or harassing the other person, which is another violation.
- Publicly shaming others may also open yourself to harassment or getting reported by others, even if you believe you are not the one who should be reported.
If the incident happened outside Hello Pal, Travel Pal or Language Pal (e.g., you agreed to chat with them through WeChat, Whatsapp, etc.):
- Use the relevant app's report or block function.
- Please still report that person to us using our in-app report system. Choose the "Other" reason when reporting, then write a brief description of the incident.
- Feel free to send us more details about your report (or send screenshots) via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you reported the person to your local police or cybercrime agency and they need our assistance, please let us know.
- Unfortunately, we are unable to help with recovering lost money or items (for fraud complaints), but if your local police or agency needs any relevant information from us, feel free to contact us about it at email@example.com.
- Note that the availability of local police or cybercrime services will vary for each country or territory. Please check with your local police or agency for information.
ABOUT "FAKE" PROFILES:
Please note that not everyone with a "fake" photo or with some false details in their profile are scammers/criminals.
Some people may choose to put slightly false information about themselves in their profile for privacy or other concerns (e.g., they don't feel confident about showing their face so they use a celebrity's photo, or they use a heavily edited/distorted photo of themselves). That is something we understand and respect.
As long as they are not using our app to commit crime, harm others or do anything expressly prohibited in our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service, we do not feel it is necessary to "hunt down" everyone who chooses to present their profiles that way.
With that said, we do not recommend publicly shaming other users who appear to have a "fake" profile. If you don't want to talk with people who have profiles like that, that is your choice -- just ignore them and move on.
There is no need to berate the other person about their profile. If there is anything in their profile that is inappropriate (i.e., violates our Guidelines), then just use the report function.
Again, as mentioned earlier, publicly shaming others is a form of harassment. Two wrongs don't make a right. ^_^
If you have questions or you need help with any problem: