Muted Words offers personalised in-app moderation to create a safer space online for each individual
Yubo, the leading platform for young people to socialise online, is taking action against online bullying and harmful content with the introduction of its new ‘Muted Words’ feature, which enables its users to block specific words, emojis or phrases that they find personally triggering from appearing to them on the app.
Cyber-bullying has been on the rise among young people during lockdown with 24% of children estimated to experience some form of cyberbullying. Yubo, which has a Gen Z user base of over 50 million across 40 different countries, is continuing to take steps to ensure that the platform is a safe space for young people to interact with their friends, giving users the control to customise their experience on the platform with this latest feature.
The Muted Words feature allows users to specify any word, abbreviation or emoji that they find offensive, harmful and triggering to them which they no longer wish to see in comments or content on the app. Users will also be able to choose from whom to mute the words – for example they can block from all users or just those that aren’t on their friends list. Yubo will then automatically hide comments containing these words from the user’s view.
This new feature has been developed with the users’ safety and mental health front of mind. Yubo understands that triggering and harmful words are not universal, different words have different effects depending on the individual, who has used this word and the context the word has been used in. Giving individuals control of their experience means that alongside being able to report harmful behaviour, Yubo users can quickly and easily block conversations that they find upsetting.
Margaux Liquard, Lead Safety Manager at Yubo says, “There is nothing more important to us than the safety and wellbeing of our users. The introduction of our Muted Words feature is another step we are taking to ensure that everyone can use the app without fear of judgement or harassment, and empower our community to choose what they want or don’t want to be exposed to. As more and more young people connect online it’s never been more imperative to educate them on online behaviours and the consequences that certain words can have on others.”
Alongside the introduction of Muted Words, Yubo is also helping to combat online bullying through different partnerships and in-app campaigns. To help change behaviour and educate its user base on the impacts of bullying it is working alongside the NCMEC (US), Childnet and The Diana Award (UK), E-enfance (France) and Save the Children (Denmark).
Together they aims to make the internet a safe place for young people, and by partnering with these NGOs, Yubo remind its users that there is no tolerance for inappropriate behaviour and online abuse as well as providing resources for those affected by abuse online. Working with The Diana Award, Yubo will be engaging its community to ask questions and have a constructive discussion through an in-app talk that the Diana Award will be hosting.
Will Gardner, Director at Childnet says, “At Childnet we have been actively working to tackle online sexual harassment amongst young people, and we are excited to be partnering with Yubo to help reach out to young people directly using their service to give them the information and advice on what to do about online sexual harassment when it happens. Online sexual harassment is a form of sexual violence and can have a real and lasting impact on those that are targeted as well as on those that witness this behaviour. Supporting young people with this issue is vital and this collaboration with Yubo makes this possible.”
Yubo aims to proactively educate its users on how to safely operate online as well as create a secure environment on the app. The launch of Muted Words builds upon Yubo’s existing safety features launched earlier this year that prevents the sharing of personal information or inappropriate messages by intervening in real-time. If a user is about to share sensitive information, such as a personal number, address or an inappropriate image they’ll receive a pop up from Yubo highlighting the dangers of sharing this information.