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 and 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 45 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 a number of words and abbreviations 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. As more and more young people connect online it’s never been more imperative to educate them on online behaviours and the effects 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 messaging. To help change behaviour and educate its user base on the impacts of bullying it is working alongside UK Charity Childnet, that aims to make the internet a safe place and young people, and The Diana Award in the UK to 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, “Online bullying among young people is on the rise and it is becoming increasingly important that organisations, especially those that cater specially to young people online, recognise their responsibility to help to protect their users. We are proud to be partnering with Yubo who put the safety of their user base at the forefront of what they do and recognise the need to offer personalised options to hide specifically triggering content. Our partnership will help us to continue to reach out to young people to educate them on cyberbullying and online harassment as well as providing resources and ongoing support.”
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.