We want everyone to have a positive experience on Yubo so we’ve embedded industry-leading safety features from the moment someone sets up a new account.
In this section, we’ll talk you through our approach to digital safety, which includes technical tools, Community Guidelines and human intervention.
When a young person downloads Yubo and signs in to the platform for the first time, they have to tell us a few things about themselves:
- Their date of birth. Yubo has a minimum age of 13 and we use age gates to create separate communities on our platform (for example under-18s and over-18s). We want our users to be able to socialise with people of a similar age.
- Their name and gender. Although we need their real name to set up their Yubo account, they can then use a different username on their profile.
- A photo that shows their face clearly. They can use a photo from their camera roll or take a selfie. Photos of other people, cartoons or pictures of pets aren’t permitted for their main profile photo.
- Their email address and mobile number. We verify their mobile number and send them a confirmation code.
- A password – we provide guidance on the screen to help them choose a strong password.
We send our Community Guidelines to all new Yubo users and ask them to select ‘I accept’. They can then choose to add a short bio, some of their favourite emojis, other photos and tags (e.g. their favourite TV shows, games, music, sports and brands) in their Yubo profile.
We verify the age and identity of Yubo users in the following ways:
- Use face recognition algorithms to check the authenticity of their profile picture.
- Detect users who have created multiple Yubo accounts using the same device or phone number.
- Use Google image search to check whether profile photos have been taken from the internet and used to set up fake accounts.
- Detect fake phone numbers in Yubo accounts.
- Offer young people the opportunity to get a yellow ‘verified’ badge for their profile. To do this, we ask them to download the free Yoti app (we have a partnership with them) so they can verify their identity using an ID, such as a passport or driving licence. This verification process can take up to 24 hours.
- Identify discrepancies between the age given at sign-up, listed in the user’s profile or used during exchanges with others. If there is any doubt about someone’s identity or age (e.g. if we identify discrepancies or if they are reported to us), we ask them to download the Yoti app so they can verify their identity using an ID, such as a passport or driving licence.
Find out more about age and identity verification in our blog.
Once someone has set up their Yubo account, it’s time to select their profile preferences in Settings. They can choose to:
- Block another user if they don’t want contact with them. Once blocked, they won’t be able to see each other on the Yubo platform or find their profiles on Swipes or in Lives (see Safety and Privacy settings).
- Hide their location if they want only their country (not their city) to be visible underneath their username on their profile. They can also do this by switching off location data in their phone’s settings (see Safety and Privacy settings).
- Decide whether they want their camera and microphone on or off when using Yubo (see Safety and Privacy settings).
- Choose their preferred gender, age and location (country) for Swipes or select ‘Hide from Swipe’ if they don’t want their profile to be visible to others (see Manage Swipe setting).
In Settings, our users can also ask questions, provide suggestions and report safety concerns (see Help section), access our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service and delete their Yubo account.
To keep the Yubo community as friendly, inclusive and safe, it’s important that we set certain standards for the way we’d like everyone to behave.
Our Community Guidelines are all about treating one another with respect. We have strict rules to make sure that discussions between users are respectful and similar to those they would have in real life. Topics covered by our guidelines include nudity, violence, drugs, hate speech, fake profiles and bullying.
Everyone is asked to read and accept our Community Guidelines when they sign up to Yubo and we also remind our users about them in every livestream. Using a combination of algorithms and human moderation, we monitor activity on Yubo so that we can identify users who break our Community Guidelines and who could put themselves or others in danger.
We prefer to engage and educate our younger users about our Community Guidelines before we take action if they break them. We help them to understand and think about what they have done and nudge them to change their behaviour in that moment and in the future.
Content monitoring and moderation
We’ve developed innovative tools that use a combination of Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms and human moderation to reduce inappropriate content and behaviour on Yubo.
If any word, sentence, photo or video breaks our Community Guidelines or indicates risky behaviour, our system notifies our team of safety specialists. For example:
- We check all Yubo profiles and notify the user if any of the content is not permitted (e.g. a profile photo without their face showing or dating references in their bio).
- We monitor all livestreams and take action when we see our Community Guidelines being broken. This might include users putting hate speech in a Live title, posing in their underwear or discussing self-harm behaviours during the livestream.
- We also monitor direct messages to prevent risky behaviours and identify potential offenders.
If someone breaks our Community Guidelines, we investigate and take the appropriate action. This might include:
- Sending a pop-up alert to a user if they are about to share personal information in private chat (e.g if they type a phrase such as “I live in London” or “My phone number is…”) to make them think twice before sharing these details.
- Real-time intervention if we see inappropriate behaviour or content in a Live (e.g. if someone asks for nudes or bullying is taking place). We send a pop-up alert and use the opportunity to explain how they have crossed the line, how to change their behaviour and what further action we’ll take if they don’t comply.
- Temporarily disabling features and issuing temporary or permanent bans from the Yubo platform depending on the severity of the breach.
- If we intervene in discussions about self-harm or suicide, offering support and contacting the relevant authorities so that a safety check can be carried out.
In addition to our focus on age and identity verification and content moderation, we’re committed to protecting Yubo users from sexual exploitation. We have dedicated tools that:
- Use keyword hash lists to help identify possible grooming and sexual exploitation.
- Check all images on Yubo against industry databases that track the ‘digital fingerprint’ of known images and files containing child sexual abuse content.
Remove child sexual abuse content and a team reporting potential offenders to our partner NCMEC and other authorities.
We encourage all our users to report any inappropriate content or behaviour and other concerns they have about the Yubo community so that we can investigate and take action.
To report a concern, a Yubo user can either:
- Tap the shield icon in the app then select ‘Report’
- Go to Settings > Help > I’d like to report a safety concern
- Report something to us via the Help Center
Our team of safety specialists review each report and respond to the user. If the report is about a Live, we aim to respond in a matter of minutes; if it’s about a user profile, we aim to respond within one hour.
Parents, carers and educators can also report concerns to us via the red tab at the top of this Safety Center. We aim to respond to these reports within 24 hours.