MASTERCLASSING

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children partners with Yubo on child safety

David Murphy

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), a non-profit organization to find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation and prevent future victimization, is partnering with social discovery platform Yubo to ensure the safety of minors in the digital age.

Starting today, the Yubo moderation team, a team dedicated to preventing unsafe user behaviour on the platform, will be able to report suspected online child exploitation to NCMEC’s CyberTipline in real-time, at the click of a button. When NCMEC receives a report, that information is made available to law enforcement agencies around the world for them to review and investigate. Yubo will identify suspicious profiles by hash value, matching with NCMEC’s hash-sharing database, which tracks the ‘digital fingerprint’ of known images and files that contain child sexual abuse content.

NCMEC will also take on an advisory position for Yubo, counselling on the development of moderation and safety tools. John Shehan, VP of NCMEC’s Exploited Children Division joins the Safety Board of Yubo, whose existing members include leaders from other key public and non-profit organizations such as Thorn, Diana Award, the London mental health service Good Thinking, and the founder of NetFamilyNews.org.

He said: “We are impressed with Yubo’s commitment to the safety of their users and their innovative solutions to making a safer environment online. We’re proud to work with them to continue to develop tools that will protect young people from exploitation.”

The announcement of the partnership is further supported by the launch of two new safety features on the platform. The first will prevent profiles that do not feature a profile picture; a new tool requires users to upload a photo of themselves in order to access and use the app. A second tool created by Yubo will detect and alert the user, in real-time, when they are about to share personal information such as their location, email address or phone number, allowing them to think twice about sending a message.

“User safety is the top priority for Yubo,” said the platform’s COO, Marc-Antoine Durand. “We are one of the only social platforms that invests this heavily in human, technical and financial resources to continuously ensure that Yubo is the most secure platform for Gen Z.

“Our partnership with NCMEC ensures that cases of exploitation are flagged instantly, allowing local authorities to have complete access to information in order to apprehend digital perpetrators in a faster and smarter way than ever before.”

Launched in 2015, Yubo currently has over 28m young people on its platform, and in the past month, has reached 1m daily users.