Stranger Danger?

Children are told to stay away from strangers in order to keep them safe. However, some social media platforms encourage strangers to interact. New apps like Yubo and Hoop have recently been designed for teens to meet other teens on the internet. Yubo is not intended to be a dating platform, but rather a place for teens to meet other people around the globe. This app and others similar to it have raised controversy over how necessary this app is too teens. Teens as young as 13 can use the app- with parental permission. Yubo’s primary feature is live-streaming and users can be matched with other users by swiping like on Tinder. Then, users can share similar interests together. Hoop is also designed a lot like Tinder, but is also not intended to be used as a dating platform, but rather a platform for meeting new people. These apps have the benefit of meeting new people, but there are also safety concerns for younger users. As of right now, developers are using facial recognition and age estimation software to protect younger teens from potential threats, but is that enough? 

2 thoughts on “Stranger Danger?

  1. Even though parental permission is required, most of the time parents don’t actually know their kids are on apps like these. I understand the idea behind it – meeting new people and sharing things. But I personally think this is not the best app. There are so many dangers with this and so many things that can go wrong and so many predators that can be on the app. It is also sad that at this day and age they have to create apps for people to meet others online, because people don’t do it in person. To me, this app screams stranger danger.

  2. In my opinion, there will ALWAYS be stuff like this out there. I remember when I was a young teen, Omegle was a big website where you video chat with strangers. My parents did not like that concept, and they blocked the website because children were video chatting adults, which would sometimes turn explicit. I think a step in facial recognition and age estimation software is a step in the right direction, but it depends on how accurate it is. According to Sight Corps, they have a +/- 5 year range on their age detection software. This means that some things could be illegal (like if a 13 year old pursued something with an 18 year old). This is frightening, actually, especially when the apps that you described are used almost as dating apps. Just from experience, I know people who are in their 20s who look like they could be teenagers, so this could also draw in predators because the teens think they’re safely talking to someone around their age when the person could be 10+ years older than them.


Leave a Reply