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CenturyLink Partners With Bark Technologies To Promote Online Safety

CenturyLink, one of the nation’s leading technology companies, announced a partnership with Bark Technologies, an award-winning content monitoring and screen time management service that protects more than 5 million children and is used in more than 2,300 school districts nationwide. The Bark/CenturyLink partnership will focus on promoting Bark’s online safety solutions to millions of existing subscribers and non-customers alike.

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With many kids heading back to school virtually across the country, CenturyLink and Bark are reinforcing the need for a more secure internet at a time when families need it most. Anyone — not just subscribers — who visits the CenturyLink website will have the opportunity to take advantage of a 30-day free trial of Bark’s signature monitoring and screen time management service, followed by a 20% discount for life on any of Bark’s safety packages.

“We’re excited to partner with Bark to provide online safety for children and families,” said Stephanie Polk, CenturyLink vice president of customer advocacy. “The service monitors texts, emails, YouTube and more than 30 different social media platforms for signs of potential issues like cyberbullying, adult content, online predators and more. Bark is a safety net and an essential toolkit I use with my own family. The easy-to-use parental controls manage screen time and filter websites so parents can have peace of mind while their children are online on any device.”

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Bark’s artificial intelligence (AI) has been instrumental in detecting issues and alerting families to numerous dangers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Over a three-month period, the company analyzed more than 600 million messages from the 30+ apps it monitors and found a number of alarming trends in children’s online behavior. These stats include a 23% increase in online predation, a 63% rise in severe hate speech, and an 11% jump in messages with sexual content. Bark’s unique design sends alerts only when potential issues arise — without giving full access to children’s online accounts. This builds trust among families and preserves kids’ privacy.

“We are incredibly excited about our partnership with CenturyLink,” said Bark founder and CEO Brian Bason. “Not only will we be able to help protect more kids online, but we are also giving families an even greater level of confidence when it comes to parenting in a digital world.”

CenturyLink’s expansive reach of approximately 450,000 global fiber route miles, 170,000 on-net buildings, and 100 edge compute nodes combined with Bark’s extensive AI, will now help place online safety at a level that is commensurate with their groundbreaking speed.

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