So, what is the ‘tinder-for-teens’ Yubo app, and what are the reported warnings?
What is Yubo?
Yubo is a live streaming application that allows its users to connect with people worldwide based on common interests, gender or location.
With a slogan of ‘Get friends. Get real. Go live.’ their site describes itself as “your live social discovery app. Join the fun, chat, play games, and live stream. There’s always a place for you here. Ready to Yubo?” and “instantly connects you with people all over the world. Find your crew based on your interests, jump into a livestream and discover something new, or play a game and show off your skills. All you need to do? Bring your true self!”
Is Yubo dangerous for children?
An investigation by the Sunday Times uncovered racism and sexual abuse when posing as a 15 year old girl.
National Online Safety, a provider of online safety e-learning and resources for Schools, issued a stark warning to parents following this to discourage use:
“We don’t often advise totally avoiding an app, but due to the concerns Yobu has generated of late (the 2022 Sunday Times exposé and a recent abduction case in which the alleged perpetrator met a teenage girl through the app) and the fact that inappropriate content has been proved to be circulating on the platform, you may decide that the safest option is to dissuade your child from downloading it altogether”
Safer Schools safety experts say that the risks are:
- Sexual extortion
- Inappropriate or illegal content
- Information sharing
- In-app purchases
- Persuasive design
The minimum age restriction is just 13, but Yubo state that there are two pools of communities, one is 13-17 and the other 18+ to avoid interaction between Adults and Children and that it’s the first social app in the world to introduce 100% user-age verification.
Can ParentShield protect children from Yubo?
As ParentShield users are generally below the 13 year age threshold, they certainly shouldn’t be using such applications – ParentShield blocks the Yubo setup SMS from going to the Childs phone and puts it in the parents portal instead – this way they have visibility and can decide whether to allow it, or not.