Email verification works to detect that 1 in 5 sign-ups are toxic

Sulake is the creator of Habbo, the world’s most popular social platform hang-out for teenagers. It’s a multiplayer experience, shaped as a huge hotel where millions of people interact, create their own rooms and live out their fantasies. Habbo is well established, with over 300 million users registered and over 120 million user generated rooms. 

So why did Leo Jaaskelainen, Senior Systems Administrator at Sulake’s offices in Helsinki need email validation?


The problem
Email verification was needed to help keep Habbo running effectively and Habbo users safe. 

Leo explains why the Email Hippo email verification API was installed: “Our user case is pretty simple. We use the service at registration. People need to enter their email address, there’s no way they can register without email. We installed the API to stop bad email addresses. 

“We need to be 100% certain that we have a real user at the end of an email address.” 

As Habbo grew, the importance of capturing real email addresses at sign-up increased. But then disposable email addresses became a headache. 

It was Leo’s colleagues in User Care who first saw a problem with disposable email addresses. “They noticed toxic users trying to create hundreds of accounts with fake email addresses.” 

In about 20% of sign-up attempts the user is asked to enter a correct address. It could be an innocent mistake of a miss spelt email address that flags up a problem, but it could also be attempts to use made up email addresses or toxic users trying to sign-in with disposable emails. 

The solution

The border patrol operated by the Email Hippo API means that the moderation team who monitor the site are able to spend more time engaging with real users and adding value to the service and less time behind the scenes chasing down fake people. It’s good news all round. 

Online security has been, and continues to be, core to our offering. Email Hippo helps us to stop toxic people at the border.”

Leo Jaaskelainen, Senior Systems Administrator