As part of Safer Internet Day (SID) 2023, Chinese social media app is joining efforts with the International Youth Foundation (IYF) to promote digital literacy and combat online violence. The app will be partnering with NGOs to provide safety education and emergency intervention resources around the world.
The move comes following recent scandals that rocked its brand in China, including a shooting game tournament sponsored by the app which attracted criticism for its violent content.
To no one’s surprise, this story has also garnered international attention as many are drawing comparisons between the app and U.S.-based social media app TikTok. Both apps are popular among children, and both have come under fire for the violent content their users tend to produce.
Yubo is partnering with IYF as part of a commitment to launch its own educational campaign around digital safety. In July, the app signed a partnership with the International Alliance Against Traffic in Women (IATW) to launch digital safety education training programs across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Despite recent publicity and backlash from users, Yubo’s reputation is still relatively positive among Chinese consumers. It is currently the most popular social media app in China and has been crowned one of the fastest-growing apps in the world.
While their popularity may not be slowing anytime soon, the app will have more than enough work to do cleaning up its reputation after a year that left many second-guessing its leadership’s ability to keep up with emerging trends.
In January, a 20-year-old man live streamed his suicide on the app via a police helmet camera. The footage was viewed over 4 million times before it was taken down. Unfortunately, Yubo’s safety measures were not enough to detect and report harmful content in this case. In the past year, the app has also been criticized for allowing users to publish streams of live animal torture. In November, it was revealed that a young man had actually killed his girlfriend with a hammer on the app as part of a “self-help” campaign.
Despite these scandals and controversies, the app is incredibly popular in China. It often surpasses WhatsApp, which enjoys a similar user base and shares its parent company, Facebook.