Advice

Safety Hub

Advice

Introduction

Yubo is a fantastic place for young people to connect with others but, as with any social platform, you might have some concerns about your child or students using it. Here, we provide safety advice for specific issues and explain what we’re doing to help protect young people in the Yubo community.

Bullying

Bullying can be hurtful and scary, whether it’s online or in the real world. On social media, it can take many forms, including nasty comments and photos or videos being shared without permission.

Online bullying (often called cyberbullying) can be particularly upsetting for young people as it can happen 24/7 and might take place in front of large peer audiences.

It’s never OK to bully someone on Yubo. In our Community Guidelines, we ask our users to respect one another and we make it clear that they shouldn’t intimidate, threaten or harass anyone.

If we see bullying or trolling taking place on our platform, we warn the perpetrator about their behaviour and might take further action, such as suspending their account.

To mark Anti-Bullying Week 2020, we ran an awareness campaign on Yubo in partnership with the Cyberbullying Research Center (US) and The Diana Award (UK).

Our Advice

  • Encourage your child or students to respect other people online – that includes considering whether something they say might be hurtful and standing up for anyone they see being bullied.
  • Explain to them that it’s not their fault if someone is harassing or bullying them.
  • Discuss how they can make the most of Yubo’s safety tools (e.g. to block people).
  • Reassure them that they should come to you if they are being bullied and that you’ll support them.

Tell your child or students to report any bullying behaviour on Yubo to our safety team so that we can take action (it’s a good idea to take screenshots of any messages or posts as evidence).

Inappropriate language

Young people often test boundaries with the language they use on the internet. In fact, one of the challenges our safety specialists face is that the way young people communicate changes all the time.

As well as using swear words and other explicit language, young people might use certain phrases, acronyms and emojis as online code – something that looks harmless could actually be inappropriate for under-18s.

We monitor the language in the Yubo community and take action where appropriate. For example, we’ve banned the use of certain emojis, such as the aubergine, in user profiles and, if inappropriate language or emojis are used in the title of a Live, we message the user, giving them the opportunity to change it before we close their livestream down.

Our advice

  • Remind your child or students why it’s important to respect other people online – using rude or nasty language on Yubo could easily offend or upset someone and might also break our Community Guidelines.
  • Look up some of the language young people use on social media so that you understand what they are talking about – the more you know about how they use social platforms like Yubo, the better.
  • Think about the kind of language and emojis you use on your own social media, especially if your child has access to it.
  • Let us know about any offensive or inappropriate language on Yubo so that we can notify the user that it’s not allowed and decide whether to remove the content.
Hate speech

Hate speech is when someone is attacked online because of their race, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. Hate speech might include trolling, cyberbullying, threats of violence and could be against the law in your country.

Being a victim of hate speech – or even just witnessing it – can be very upsetting for a young person, especially as hateful comments can quickly reach a large number of people online.

We have zero tolerance for hate speech and discrimination on the Yubo platform. We provide safety tools and take action against reports of racism, homophobia and other online hate. If a crime has been committed, we work with the relevant law enforcement agencies.

We also promote diversity and inclusion within the Yubo community. For Pride Month 2020, for example, we ran an awareness campaign in partnership with Le Refuge (France), Switchboard (UK) and The Trevor Project (US). Find out more in our blog

Our advice

  • Have a conversation with your child or students about the importance of inclusivity and being kind to others online – you might like to remind them about our Community Guidelines, which they accepted when they signed up to Yubo.
  • Encourage them to be vigilant and to think carefully before they post and before they share someone else’s posts (Does it attack or discriminate against someone? Might it break the law?).
  • Discuss the various tools available on Yubo to help protect young people, such as the ‘block user’ option in their profile settings.
  • Explain how hate speech might be considered a hate crime and why it’s important that they report any incidents on the Yubo platform so that we can take action.
Harmful and illegal content

Violence, drugs, pornography, gambling, criminal activity… your child or students might come across things online that they should not see. It could be unsuitable for their age or maturity, inaccurate, offensive or even unlawful.

Our 13+ age limit and separate community for under-18s help to protect young children. In addition, we don’t tolerate harmful and illegal content on Yubo and we take it down as soon as we become aware of it. If the content could be breaking the law, we refer it to the relevant authorities. 

Our advice

  • Read our advice about hate speech and our Community Guidelines
  • Talk openly with your child or students about the kind of content that could be harmful or illegal.
  • Encourage them to let you know if they come across any messages or posts on Yubo that worry them.
  • Discuss why it’s important to not share this kind of content with other Yubo users.
  • Report any harmful or potentially illegal content to us so we can take action (e.g. remove the content, suspend the user’s account and report it to law enforcement).
Peer Pressure

From just-for-fun pranks to more serious challenges that encourage risky behaviour, such as sharing nude images or taking illegal drugs, young people often find themselves under pressure from others online.

It’s not always easy to say no but it’s important that young people understand the consequences of their actions. What might seem like a bit of fun could upset or embarrass them or someone else and could break our rules or even the law.

Our Community Guidelines make it clear that certain things are not OK on Yubo. For example, if someone is pressured into sending nudes or harassing another user, we have the option to remove the content and suspend their account.

Our advice

  • Talk to your child or students about how to make positive decisions online and how to say no to their friends if they don’t want to do something.
  • Explain that, just like in the real world, the way they behave online can have serious consequences – what starts off as a joke could have a negative impact on them and other people now and in the future.
  • Report any inappropriate behaviour or content to the Yubo team so that we can take action.
Self-esteem

In a world of photoshopped images of celebrity influencers and large social media audiences, there’s even more pressure for young people to look and behave a certain way and be part of the right crowd. Unfortunately, some might experience body shaming, bullying and other forms of humiliation online.

We want Yubo to be a space where young people feel confident, happy and secure so we don’t tolerate hurtful comments, bullying or any other behaviour that could affect someone’s self-esteem. If we find out this is happening, we contact the perpetrator and might decide to suspend their account. We also try to take away the pressure of ‘likes’ and comments on Yubo – we’re more about real-time interaction and group discussions.

Our advice

  • Help your child or students to understand that comparing themselves to celebrity influencers or getting fixated on the number of ‘likes’ and ratings they receive on social media isn’t healthy. 
  • Discuss why it’s important to be kind to other people online. Something that might seem like harmless fun (such as rating someone based on how attractive they are) could have serious consequences for the other person.
  • Encourage them to be themselves and not be defined by what others think of them.

Let us know if they or their friends receive any nasty comments on Yubo so we can investigate and take action. Find out more in our Community Guidelines and our information about Safety tools.

Wellbeing

Exam stress, bullying, peer pressure and many other issues have an impact on the way young people feel. With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing new challenges, there is increasing concern about young people’s mental wellbeing.

Staying connected to others is a great boost for mental health and social platforms like Yubo can be a lifeline when going through tough times. Our livestreams allow young people to be themselves, share their thoughts with a small group of friends and get much-needed emotional support.

For Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, we partnered with Good Thinking to promote good mental wellbeing in the Yubo community. Find out more in our blog.

Our advice

  • Let your child or students know you’re there for them if they’d like to discuss any concerns they have or if they need your support.
  • Encourage them to get the online/offline balance right. You might find it useful to discuss the five ways to good mental wellbeing: connect with other people, be physically active, learn something new each day, give to others, pay attention to the present moment.

Read our advice about bullying, peer pressure and self-esteem and our Community Guidelines.

Fake profiles and scams

People sometimes pretend to be someone else when they are online. They might set up fake social media profiles and try to dupe other users into chatting into them, for example.

Catfishing and other online scams can be disconcerting and upsetting for young people and could even put them at risk of identity theft or sexual exploitation.

As you’ll see in our Community Guidelines and information about Safety tools, we want to know the real identity of all our users as we believe it makes the Yubo community safer. We ask for a real name, mobile number and a real photo at sign-up and we close down fake profiles and deal with scams as soon as we know about them.

Our advice

  • Explain to your child or students that Yubo asks for real information when setting up a profile and encourages them to get verified by Yoti. By not allowing our users to be anonymous, we can identify fake profiles more easily and take action against other inappropriate behaviour.
  • Discuss why it’s important to be wary of profiles, photos and messages that seem too good to be true. Imposters are often keen to appear “perfect” so look out for model-like photos, flattering comments and other suspicious behaviour.
  • Make sure your child or students know they haven’t done anything wrong if they fall for a fake profile. Some people can be very convincing.
  • Let us know if you suspect a profile on Yubo could be fake so that we can take action.
  • If a young person is concerned that someone has stolen their identity to set up a fake profile on Yubo, contact us so that we can remove it.
Grooming and sexual exploitation

Unfortunately, some people go online to target young people for the wrong reasons, such as to groom them for sexual exploitation. 

They might set up fake profiles to trick them into speaking to them via private chat, sharing images with them and, in some cases, meeting up in person. They might pay them lots of compliments or offer things like concert tickets and modelling opportunities to draw them into a conversation and gain their trust.

Young people might also be pressured into sharing inappropriate photos or videos by people they know and trust, such as partners and friends. 

We have zero tolerance for the sexual exploitation of young people and report every potential offender to law enforcement agencies (see our Community Guidelines and information about Safety tools).

Our advice

  • Remind your child or students to be careful about what they share online (e.g. phone number, address, social media profiles, photos, videos).
  • Explain why verified profiles on Yubo (with a yellow badge) can help them to know that the person they are chatting to is who they say they are.
  • Discuss how anyone can see livestreams on Yubo, not just their friends and get them to think carefully before filming themselves.
  • Explain why no one should pressure them into doing something they don’t want to do – even if it’s someone they know.
  • Encourage them to trust their instincts about people they meet online and to recognise that if what someone says to them seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Look out for changes in your child’s or students’ behaviour. Are they increasingly secretive about the devices and apps they use? Do they go to their room as soon as they receive a message or get defensive when you ask them who they are talking to?
  • If your child or students feel uncomfortable about someone who has approached them on Yubo, report it to us immediately. We pass the details of any potentially criminal activity to law enforcement and other agencies.
Nudity and sexting

Flirting, exploring sexual feelings and having relationships – a natural part of growing up – increasingly happens online.

For young people who are surrounded by sexual images and behaviour in the media, it can be difficult knowing where to draw the line when sharing their own photos and videos. For example, if they see images of celebrities posing in their underwear, they might believe it’s OK to do the same.

Some young people think that sharing nudes (often called sexting) will get people’s attention or make them more popular. Others might be pressured into it by boyfriends, girlfriends, friends or even complete strangers and not realise that sharing such personal images could put them at risk of sexual exploitation.

Their photos and videos might be passed on to other people without their consent. Known as revenge porn or sextortion, this sometimes happens when a relationship comes to an end and their former partner wants to hurt them.

Furthermore, young people could be breaking the law by taking, sharing or possessing these images.

To help protect our younger users, we detect every photo or video that contains nudity and prevent it from being uploaded on Yubo. We also send a pop-up alert if there is nudity in a livestream and we have the option to disable the Live and/or ban the user. 

We make it clear in our Community Guidelines that nude and sexual images are not allowed on our platform and that we take steps to remove them as soon as we are aware of them. 

Our advice

  • Encourage your child or students to think carefully before they post or share any images on social media or take part in a livestream. Could their behaviour hurt them or someone else or even be illegal?
  • Talk to them about the possibility of other people (perhaps even someone they trust, like a boyfriend or girlfriend) sharing nude images of them online and what they should do if this happens.
  • Explain to your child or students that they could be breaking the law if they take, share or possess nude images of themselves or other under-18s.
Self-harm and suicide

Sadly, the pressures of growing up can sometimes get too much and some young people experience depression and low self-esteem, have questions about their sexual identity and face other challenges.

Being part of an online community can be positive in many ways, enabling young people to share their experiences and feel less alone. In some cases, however, young people try to encourage others to participate in things like eating disorders, self-injury and suicide.

If a livestream is reported to us because of self-harm or suicidal behaviour, we intervene immediately. We assess the situation, shut down the Live and offer support to the user, including putting them in touch with a local helpline.

Our advice

  • Reassure your child or students that you’re there for them and that you’ll help them to get support. 
  • Encourage them to look out for friends who might be struggling.
  • Read our Community Guidelines and report any posts on Yubo about self-harm and suicide so that we can take the appropriate action. We respond immediately to reports of emergencies and contact the police and support agencies where necessary.