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How Yubo keeps fake profiles away from its platform?

5 minutes read

- Written by Yubo Team

Yubo - Sherlock Bo

Pretending to be someone else on the internet by creating fake profiles, also known as catfishing, is a very common practice especially on social media. It’s unfortunately nothing new. In fact, that term was made popular by the American TV Show “Catfish”, which began airing back in 2012. The show’s premise is to help guests determine if the person they’ve been talking to online is actually the real person behind the account. That type of behavior is also very commonly linked to scams, hence why it has become more and more important to be able to quickly detect those false identities to help you stay safe.

Why is it important to know how to spot fake profiles?

Knowing who you’re talking to before sharing anything about yourself, such as your daily life, private or personal information, or your deepest secrets must become a priority when surfing the internet or connecting online. For people who have the wrong intentions, impersonating someone is fairly easy to do these days – but don’t worry, we have your back. Signs of a potential fake account can be simple to identify when you know what to look for. 

Making up an entire fake person’s life from scratch takes a lot of creativity and work… As a result, asking questions to a catfish might help you spot gaps in their story (whether it’s about their family, friends, what they did at school, where they’re from, what their interests are, what they liked as a kid and so on). Making a conversation flow is the basis of building friendships online, especially when you find someone with similar interests, so keep doing this as it will help you spot potential inconsistencies.

Of course, the goal is not to be overly suspicious about everyone you might interact with, you can’t constantly assume the worst of people, but being careful doesn’t cost you anything and can help to keep you safe – which is the most important. All it takes is a little bit of caution when you are still building trust.

What’s the best way to determine if an account is fake or not on social media?

The best way is trusting apps that guarantee 100% age verification for all its users. At Yubo, we believe it’s key to stay safe online and to make sure you’re making true friends.

Yubo has recently become the first major social media platform to implement comprehensive age-verification technology, which is definitely a milestone we’ve worked hard to achieve in an ongoing effort to provide our users with as much online safety as possible. 

In partnership with leading digital identity provider Yoti, Yubo first introduced this brand-new age-verification system in May 2022 for users ages 13 and 14 through beta testing, with the goal of scaling verification across all ages by year-end.

The main reason why we started introducing it for our youngest users is that we consider them our most vulnerable audience. Young people often feel the need to fit in and make new friends quickly, plus their thinking skills are still growing significantly and they might overlook warning signs more than other users.

This trial was a great success, which is why the integration was accelerated. In only 3 months, we reached the milestone of 100% of our iOS users being verified. Fewer than 10% of Yubo users today access the platform via Android devices and Yubo’s age-verification software will be deployed fully to Android in the coming weeks. 

Yubo is aiming for greater efficiency to ensure users interact within age-appropriate groups, while still making our user experience smooth and our verification process accessible and easy to go through. This implementation is also extremely discouraging for catfishes or people with bad intentions – whether we’re talking about humans or bots – from accessing Yubo.

How does Yubo’s new age-verification tool work? 

Yubo prompts new users signing up for an account, or existing users who are not yet verified, to enter their age and take a real-time photo of their face – otherwise known as, you guessed it, a selfie. 

Yoti’s technology has been trained to estimate age by looking at facial features and interpreting them as pixels. It then can match those pixels to other sets of pixels to determine an estimated age. To protect user data and privacy, the system has no way of retroactively linking a name or an identity to an image provided. If the age provided and the age estimated based on the photo do not match, additional identification steps are required before the user can access Yubo. Yoti’s technology is crazy precise, as it is able to verify that a user is above or below a given age threshold consistently across all ages, genders, and skin tones. 

What other tips can be useful to detect fake profiles? 

  • Inconsistent personal information
  • Someone that only wants to exchange via DMs – it’s fishy if you consistently refuse to show your real face on camera, even for a few seconds
  • No new pictures – usually catfishes only have access to a few pictures of the person they’re trying to impersonate, which mean that they will quickly run out of selfies to share and you won’t see any updates
  • Using photos of a celebrity, influencer, model or other famous or recognizable person 
  • Very few friends count – your friends are interested in what you share, and always comment or like your pics or stories. If someone doesn’t have any interaction on their profiles, that might be a red flag

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