(Metronews247) In livestreams on the social media app Yubo, Salvador Ramos threatened to rape girls, showed off a gun he bought, and threatened to shoot up schools, according to numerous users who observed the threats in recent weeks.
However, those users, all teenagers, told Metronews247 that they didn’t take him seriously until they heard that Ramos had shot and killed 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, earlier this week.
On Yubo, an app popular by tens of millions of young people throughout the world, three users said they saw Ramos threaten to conduct sexual assault or carry out school massacres.
All of the users claimed to have reported Ramos’ account to Yubo because of the threats. However, they said that Ramos appeared to be able to retain a presence on the site. Ramos reportedly provided a user the $2,000 receipt for an internet gun purchase from a Georgia-based firearm manufacturer, according to one Yubo direct message seen by Metronews247.
The user remarked, “Guns are dull.” “No,” Ramos is said to have said.
“We are truly devastated by this unimaginable loss,” a Yubo spokeswoman told Metronews247, “and are fully collaborating with law authorities on their investigation.” Yubo takes user safety seriously, and the company is “investigating an account that has subsequently been banned from the site,” according to a spokeswoman, who declined to reveal any details regarding Ramos’ account.
During the coronavirus outbreak, use of Yubo soared as youths locked indoors resorted to the app for a semblance of in-person contact. The firm claims to have 60 million users worldwide, with 99 percent of them being 25 or younger, and has emphasized safety measures such as “second-by-second” livestream monitoring using artificial intelligence and human moderators.
Despite these safeguards, individuals who talked to Metronews247 said Ramos threatened them personally and graphically. Amanda Robbins, 19, said Ramos verbally threatened to knock down her door, rape, and murder her after she refused his sexual advances during a broadcast. Ramos allegedly threatened other females with similar “acts of sexual abuse and violence,” according to her.
An envelope is held by a whistleblower.
Robbins, who claims to reside in California and has only ever communicated with Ramos online, told Metronews247 that she reported him to Yubo multiple times and had his account suspended, but that she continued to witness him make filthy comments in livestreams.
“[Yubo] advised that if you notice any inappropriate activity, you should report it. They haven’t done anything, however “According to Robbins. “That youngster was permitted to say that on the internet.”
Because troll-like conduct was frequent on Yubo, Robbins and other users said they didn’t take Ramos’ comments seriously.
Hannah, an 18-year-old Yubo user from Ontario, Canada, told Yubo in early April that Ramos threatened to shoot up her school and rape and kill her and her mother during a livestream session. After an interim restriction, Hannah said Ramos was permitted back on the site.
Hannah, who asked for her last name to be changed to protect her privacy, claimed Ramos’ behavior had become more blatant in the previous week. Ramos momentarily turned his webcam to reveal a pistol on his bed in one webcast, she said.
During the livestreams, the users claimed they did not record Ramos’ threats.
Yubo’s community norms prohibit users from “threaten[ing] or intimidating” others, as well as harassing and bullying. Also prohibited is content that “promotes violence, such as violent acts, firearms, knives, or other weapons.”
Yubo unveiled an upgraded age verification method only a week before the Uvalde hack, which includes users taking a photo of themselves and the app utilizing artificial intelligence to determine their age. The platform only enables those aged 13 and above to sign up, and users aged 18 and up are not allowed to connect with anyone under the age of 18.
Law officials stormed into the room where the Uvalde school gunman was trapped and killed him after he had been there for up to an hour.
Since its inception in 2015 under the moniker Yellow, Yubo has sparked controversy, with some local law enforcement authorities warning about the danger of misuse. Police in Kentucky, New Jersey, and Florida have detained males for allegedly using Yubo to meet or exchange sexually explicit communications with children. Last month, Indiana police said they were looking for information on a Yubo user who had requested nude images of young females on other social media platforms in connection with the 2017 murders of two adolescent girls.
Ramos’ troubling social media connections were not limited to Yubo. One user, a German female who met Ramos on Yubo, stated she had some uncomfortable text and FaceTime encounters with him. As Metronews247 previously reported, the 15-year-old said she got text messages from him just after he shot his grandma and before his assault at the primary school.
The girl said that any aggressive or weird remarks made by Ramos were done in fun.
However, she stated that after the incident, “When I summed everything up, it all made sense… I was simply too inattentive to catch all of his signs.”