FunCorp responds to false allegations in the media

Setting the record straight on iFunny

FunCorp, the leading global developer of entertainment tech products and apps, has been working in the entertainment technology field for over 16 years. FunCorp was started from a foundation of honesty in doing business and it prides itself on compliance with not only all existing laws, but the industry’s best practices. These values are ingrained our company. Since 2011, we have been one of the leaders of the mobile entertainment industry, with products spanning half the globe. We have always been mindful of our responsibility and we have always acted according to the principle "to make the world a better place.”

The specifics of User-Generated Content projects are quite complex. In recent years, social networks and anonymous communication platforms have been subject to active pressure from the media and the public. As part of this industry, we work daily and hourly to ensure that our products are a clean and friendly ecosystem.

But our attempts to moderate are not always successful. Moderating projects with tens of millions of active users is challenging, especially when FunCorp does not have the resources of a social media conglomerate. However, FunCorp makes maximum efforts to find prohibited content in its platforms and this is sometimes even more difficult than in most well-known social and media services. We noted our moderation process in a recent post on Medium, and we make it a top priority to ensure that no content violates our terms or guidelines.

We fully share the public and mainstream media's concern regarding the improvement of FunCorp’s moderation systems and FunCorp will continue to work diligently and quickly to refine its systems.

However, on November 3, 2020, a publication on the internet affected our company's business interests and tried to damage its reputation. This publication both stated and implied that FunCorp is a Russian-owned white supremacist service that is responsible for advertising fraud and that is unfairly and illegally using personal data. We want to refute these allegations and to provide the public with our position on them.

These are our responses to the specific allegations that have been made:

  1. Russian-owned company

    iFunny is owned by FunCorp Limited, a Cyprus company whose shareholders are Europeans.

    FunCorp is a multinational and multicultural company, with offices around the world. It is no secret thatthe educational systems of post-Soviet countries produce talented engineers, so amongst our employees,as in many U.S. companies, there are also Russian-speaking employees.

    Statements that imply that FunCorp is responsible for wrongdoing simply because it employs Russian-speaking individuals are a form of racial profiling that is offensive and not consistent with FunCorp’s corporate values. FunCorp includes employees in the US, Eastern Europe, Central Europe, South America and many others. Our company supports all movements against any discrimination and strives to build an internal culture of recruitment and promotion based on a policy of inclusion and equal opportunity, regardless of where the employee was born or the language that they speak.

  2. Ad fraud

    For over ten years, we have been a significant player in the mobile advertising market and one of its pioneers, and such accusations are slander and do not correspond to reality. We will protect our reputation by going to law enforcement agencies and the judicial system.

    But we also want to give our comments on how we work with advertising monetization issues. From the foundation to the present day, we are an entertainment product developer, not an advertising seller or ad-tech company. We provide an advertising space, which is filled by a third-party SDK.

    Our main advertising engine is Mopub from Twitter, which works together with bidding solution. And these two campaigns control all shows display of advertisements in our products.

    Advertising fraud is entirely impossible with this work scheme, as it can not remain unnoticed either for advertising DSP/SSP, or for long-term advertisers, or advertising services.

    The most important thing is that we do not directly upload ads, launch scripts, or open any links; all these operations are performed on the side of monetization partners.

    Also, the quality of our traffic and advertisement shows are monitored by industry leaders such as IAB (Open Measurement SDK), MOAT, DoubleVerify and Google, and, prior to the most recent allegations, there has never been a claim of advertising fraud against FunCorp.

  3. Illegal data usage

    As a European company, FunCorp obtains and processes the personal and personally identifiable information of its European users consistent with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR"), including by complying with the GDPR's principle of the right of access to data collected by FunCorp.

    For US users, FunCorp complies with all US regulations, including the California Consumer Privacy Act. FunCorp collects and uses user's data consistent with its privacy policy, which is published both in its mobile applications and on our website. FunCorp’s advertisers, in turn, are subject to the IAB/AAAA's Standard Terms and Conditions for Internet Advertising for Media Buys One Year or Less version 3.0.

    In August 2020, we wrote an article that explains our position on using personal data in the development, monetization of the product, and our position has not changed in any way. We make anonymized content and communication products without using the user's data from real life and his/her social graph. We do not even require email confirmation during registration.

    For product development and monetization we use only user logs inside the application and do not collect nor store user's data.

    We consider such accusations to be a targeted attack and will appeal to legal systems law enforcement agencies in order to protect our business.