Sex.com owner pours wealth, guilt into porn filterGary Kremen founded Match.com as a labor of love, but his personal fortune comes from buying the sex.com domain early. Now, Kremen has invested "an undisclosed amount" in CrowdSifter, a collaborative smut filter. You can read about it in our compliant mainstream media on November 13. Or you can read the press release CrowdSifter's publicist sent us this morning:
EMBARGOED NOVEMBER 13, 2008 8AM EASTERN/5AM PACIFIC Go Porn, Go! The former owner of Sex.com, Gary Kremen, invests in innovative porn filter, CrowdSifter.com, created by Dolores Labs (doloreslabs.com) Back in 2006, entrepreneur Gary Kremen sold Sex.com, one of the most expensive pieces of web real estate, for $12 million in cash and stock. So what is he going to do with the money? Among his many projects, the prominent San Francisco investor is backing an innovative content filter, CrowdSifter, that keeps areas of the net safe for kids with the help the net's most important asset: its users. “It is crucial to be audience appropriate on the web, and user content can be especially difficult to wrangle,” says Kremen. Kremen, founder of Match.com, invested an undisclosed amount to start-up Dolores Labs, he is also part of their advisor team. Dolores Labs released the first phase of its CrowdSifter porn-filter service this month. CrowdSifter uses the wisdom of crowds to filter suggestive, pornographic or obscene images. Adults with internet access can sign up and label images. CrowdSifter combines the input of tens of thousands of people across the web. Lukas Biewald, CEO of Dolores Labs, came up with the idea to provide ready-to-use tools that let humans contribute tasks that computers are not good at, such as figuring out what constitutes porn. Biewald started as an artificial intelligence specialist, working on automated algorithms to judge search relevance for Yahoo, Inc., and has a first hand understanding of technology's limits in judging bad taste and obscenity. While Kremen does not object to porn sites, he believes that there are areas of the internet that should be kept appropriate for their respective user-bases. Because the technology uses real people to judge the images, companies have more flexibility to define what appropriate means to them and their clients. What is appropriate content for Disney is different than what is appropriate for MySpace. "One thing we noticed when we launched our own social network, FaceStat, is if you give someone the ability to upload content, they will eventually upload something inappropriate," says Chris Van Pelt, CTO of Dolores Labs. As a businessman, Kremen understands the value of nurturing brand identity, retaining an internet user-base and unlocking advertising value on websites. Kremen was the initial investor of Dolores Labs. He says “I was impressed with the smartness of the people. I felt an immediate impulse to see this team grow.” Kremen has a diverse history of investment and this is not his first by far. “While l get to work with so many cool people, my most enjoyable project is probably creating love at Match.com." DOLORES LABS INFO: Located in the heart of San Francisco, Dolores Labs began in December, 2007 Board of Directors: Lukas Biewald – Founder, CEO (BS Math, MS Computer Science, Stanford) Chris Van Pelt – Founder, CTO, Board of Directors (BA Art, Computer Science, Hope College) Gary Kremen – Investor (Founder of Match.com & Clean Power Finance) You're welcome to contact us for quotes on crowdsifting, AMAZON'S mechanical turk, tech start-ups, porn filtering or whatever else. WEBSITES: www.doloreslabs.com www.crowdsifter.com www.kremen.com CONTACT INFO: info@crowdsifter.com