What parents need to know about Yubo

With an estimated user-base of 50 million, Yubo (previously known as Yellow) might be the biggest social media platform you’ve never heard of. Unless, of course, you caught last month’s Sunday Times investigation – in which an undercover journalist posed as a 15-year-old girl on the app, receiving requests for hook-ups, demands for nude images and threats of sexual violence.

As if that were not alarming enough, Yubo also enables strangers to watch children’s live video streams – while granting the app access to their device’s GPS tracker reveals a young person’s exact location. Our online safety guide this week has a thorough breakdown of everything that trusted adults ought to know about Yubo.

To give them some credit, Yubo’s developers responded swiftly to the Times’ exposé by bolstering the app’s security options (adding the facility to block users or screen out nudity in live streams, for instance). Sadly, for some young users, it was already too late: Yubo has been referenced in several criminal trials resulting from sexual assaults on minors, both in the UK and the US. An app which connects teens with (potentially older) strangers, then encourages them to chat and livestream videos with each other, is obviously going to set off all manner of alarm bells with trusted adults. Indeed, some schools are actively discouraging pupils from downloading Yubo at all. Check out this week’s #WakeUpWednesday guide for our expert’s full analysis.