Nexopia

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Nexopia
Nexopialogo.png
Type Private
Founded Edmonton, Alberta,
February 2003
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Key people Timo Ewalds (Founder)
Net income Undisclosed
Website nexopia.com
Alexa rank positive decrease 24,353 (April 2014)[1]
Type of site Social Networking, Forums
Registration Required
Available in English
Launched February 2003
Current status Active

Nexopia.com is a Canadian social networking website created by Timo Ewalds. It was designed as a general interactive site for people aged 14 and up, but the age limit recently was lowered to 13.[2] Users are able to create and design their own profiles, friends list, blogs, galleries, articles, and forums. Interaction is accomplished through an internal personal messaging system, and public user comments on profiles, blogs or through threads and posts on the forums. In November 2012, Nexopia was acquired by digital ad network Ideon Media.[3]

History[edit]

Nexopia evolved from the community site called Enternexus.com, a website built by Timo Ewalds. This initial beta site was limited to 70 members and eventually led to the current website, Nexopia.com. When Enternexus.com was relaunched as Nexopia.com, initial growth is reported as follows: 100 users joined within four days, and within 22 months the site grew to 225,000 users.[4] For a brief period during that time, Nexopia.com maintained a level of growth of 10% or 3500 average new members per day.[5] Other available statistics are for the month of January 2005, bandwidth was estimated at 8–10 terabytes.[6]

In October 2010, the site had just under 1.5 million users and nearly 35 billion hits. As for January 2012, the site reports 1,636,990 users and 35,517,895,992 hits. That means a growth of roughly 140,000 users in just under 14 months, which is about half as many new users in half the amount of time as when the site started. In other words, the site is still growing by nearly the same amount of users per year as it was since its inception.

The website initially had problems using PayPal as a payment method for their premium service (Plus) reportedly due to their demographic and issues with stolen credit cards.[7] It now uses Interac Online, a service that allows account holders at participating banks to make payments online through online banking.

The website has also been the target of hackers and has been targeted by Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS attacks at least twice in its early days.[8]

Update[edit]

Nexopia launched an update to its user profile pages, the largest revision since the site's launch in 2003. The redesign includes a streamlined layout, Ajax controls for messages, galleries, and profile editing, new profile skinning options, and image resizing.[9] The update to the website has caused much controversy among users due to recent issues. Such as slow load times, profile pictures being deleted or not uploading, private messages not being sent, forms not working correctly, and people angry simply because the site design was different. Nexopia staff had recently set up a poll asking what users disliked most about the new Nexopia site design. After finding that the majority of users disliked the new profile picture slider the most, Nexopia staff decided to provide the option to switch between the classic profile picture viewer and the new improved profile picture slider.[10]

Members[edit]

Over 95% of its users are Canadian with over 1.4 million member accounts and over 500,000 active users and a hit count of over 33 billion. During peak hours the site sometimes reaches over 30,000 users and several thousand guests online.

No nudity, racism, violence or gore are allowed in any of the forums or profiles, although photos of drugs are accepted only to a certain degree, and that degree is only a small amount of marijuana and the use of pipes and bongs. Alcohol is also accepted. Any other controlled substance (heroin, cocaine, or any other classified "hard drug") is not allowed. All profile pictures are checked by specially appointed photo moderators before being allowed up on a user's page. Photos put on a user's profile are not checked, but there is a "report abuse" button where another user can report anything that is not to Nexopia code of conduct. Nexopia also takes a hard stance against copyright infringement, presumably in fear of litigation. Over the last few years Nexopia has come under fire[11] from various hardline parent groups who blamed many of their children's problems on the website and tried to have it be shut down. This has resulted in a policy change and forced Nexopia to be more strict about what users post on the website.

In March 2007, four students from Sherwood Park, Alberta were expelled from school and twenty given suspensions in a case of cyberbullying.[12] Students from the Elk Island school district used Nexopia to create profiles of their teachers in which classmates posted defamatory, silly, derogatory, and libellous information on the teachers' pages.[12]

Criticism[edit]

The website became a prime target for online predators.[13][14][15] Since a user's profile can be completely open to the public, all the profile images and information are viewable. Users often post personal information like their address, mobile telephone number, family members, relationship status, and what school they attend.

Online spam has increased such as through "dummy" accounts which have created that send spam messages to users, linking them to websites containing pornographic materials or malicious information.

The Plus feature was recently introduced into the Mac's Convenience Stores.[16] As convenient as it may seem, a lack of staff knowledge and availability has led to the Plus feature being pulled from Macs locations.

Users who do not follow the rules may get a simple ban from the website or have their account "frozen".

In March 2012, the website was found to be in violation of federal privacy laws, because it keeps personal information indefinitely.[17] As of November 2012, Nexopia is working with the Privacy Commissioner to ensure regulatory compliance.[3]

It has been stated in media sources that alleged serial killer Cody Legebokoff met victim Loren Leslie, 15, online at the website.[18]

Forums[edit]

The forums include many official Nexopia forums, some regarding the websites functionality, while others are themed towards topics such as music or transportation, and some, such as User Topics, Teens, and Attention Seekers are non-specific to topic.

Aside from official forums, Nexopia Plus users have the option of creating their own forums, which can be open to any user or be a private forum that only invited members can view.

The forums are watched by specially chosen Global Mods as well as the administrators of the website. They have the power to fully edit any forums that are created by plus users. They watch for posts containing nudity as well as any other post that is against Nexopia's terms of use.

Memberships[edit]

Users with free accounts have access to standard features such as forum posting, private messaging, user profiles with comments, photo uploading, a user blog and an image gallery.

Users paying a subscription fee gain access to extra features such as advanced user search, forum creation, various customization options, increased photo uploads and image gallery capacity, online file storage, and the elimination of ads.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nexopia.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  2. ^ "Nexopia Terms of Use". Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Lewis, Rob. "Canadian Social Networking Pioneer Nexopia Acquired by Digital Ad Network". Techvibes. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Admin Zone Forums - View Single Post - How long did the '1000 members' milestone take you?". Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  5. ^ Admin Zone Forums - View Single Post - Most new members on one day
  6. ^ Admin Zone Forums - View Single Post - How much bandwidth have you used so far this month?
  7. ^ 2checkout.com - Using Them? - Admin Zone Forums
  8. ^ Sharing my little secret - Admin Zone Forums
  9. ^ Nexopia Update
  10. ^ Option to switch between picture viewers
  11. ^ National. "Net holds dark hints on slayings: Pair accused in deaths of Alberta family posted messages on notorious websites". The Globe and Mail, April 26, 2006.
  12. ^ a b "Four students expelled for cyberbullying (2:40 p.m.)". edmontonjounal.com. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Police track suspects using Nexopia website". Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Nexopia predator does get light sentence". Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Montreal man who used Net to lure girls gets parole". Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  16. ^ Nexopia expands to the corner store - Techvibes Blog
  17. ^ "Nexopia social network found in breach of privacy law". CBC.ca. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  18. ^ Keller, James (2 June 2014). "Cody Legebokoff Trial Hears Victims' DNA Found On Suspect's Belongings". Huffington Post. Retrieved 5 June 2014.