As kids we were always taught to refrain from talking to strangers but in today’s society and generation, talking to strangers online is seen as a way for people to build relationships and connections. In class we learned about several characteristics of social media, one including the ability to develop social networks and generate a community of like minded individuals. Several apps exist today that claim to give users the ability to branch out of their existing social circles that are created through face to face interactions instead to form new relationships with people who are similar minded as themselves but complete strangers.
One example of an app that specializes in online communication with strangers is Yubo. Yubo acts as an online streaming service that’s goal is to introduce individuals with similar interests and hobbies to each other. This apps interface is extremely similar to the dating app tinder, giving users the ability to ‘choose’ whom they’d like to talk to through swiping left or right. The common question is although these appear to be great apps for young adults to chat on, how safe are they actually? These new apps that enable teens to branch out insist that they are applying strong safeguards to protect users through separation of age and by using artificial intelligence for face recognition and age estimation technology to prevent the exposure of unsafe behavior for young adults and potential child abuse. There has already been a case of a man who was able to navigate around these safeguards and proceed to lure a minor. My question is, how reliable will the generation of safeguards and can guardians and parents rely on them to protect their children from online predators? These kinds of apps also are called into question for their lack of face to face communication and if they will ultimately push society toward interpersonal communication.