Bebo, the social network which was hugely popular approximately 8 years ago (when I was pregnant with Bunny), before nosediving into the realms of failure, is back with swagger… and a bad attitude! The online app, is promoting it’s creative avatars, combined with hashtags, which returns images. The new slogan is “probably not for boring people”, but from what I’ve seen, I’d say it’s probably not for polite people!

Bebo’s official Twitter page is telling people to “tweet the artist”.

The artist however, slams any critics as “haters” and has no qualms about rudeness or professional conduct.

Upon seeing the owner of a reputable PR firm demonstrating constructive criticism and sharing her opinion of the new Bebo on Twitter, she was slammed by a vile response. Despite the fact that this PR had in fact praised the artistic skills of the new avatars, the artist responded with this…

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Personally, I don’t think that is a very professional nor appropriate response, especially from a representative of a social media brand seeking new members. When questioned about her approach, she was defensive, not at all sorry and claimed her tweets were not representative of Bebo… despite Bebo telling people to tweet her at that handle as their representing artist. After blocking me, for pointing out that the rude hashtags she had used were inappropriate, she then tweeted that I was “sensitive and nosy”. Call me what you will… I’m not representing a huge global brand aimed at children and teenagers!

#PRfail

So I decided to test it out for myself. I don’t believe you should mock something before you’ve tried it. Boy, was I in for a shock!

It took a matter of seconds to sign up, after downloading the app, as there were no age restrictions or advisories. The original Bebo had a minimum age of 13 years old. The new Bebo appears to target the younger market and have no  limits. Quite literally.

When you first sign up, you create an avatar that looks like yourself. Then you are connected with a Bebo avatar (a male) and are advised to slap him! You hashtag #slap and up comes a picture of your avatar slapping his avatar and his avatar, with a black eye! I’m not a big fan of violence and didn’t think this was the best introduction to a “social” network. I might be old fashioned, but slapping people, has never been a “social” activity for me.
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Remember, I am writing as a mother. An outraged mother. I have a very impressionable 7 year old daughter and an inquisitive 10 year old step son, who are both really getting into their technology. They are however, both very innocent and oblivious to many things in the adult world.

So I thought, as a child might, that having been advised by Bebo’s artist to hashtag “anal” and “squirt”, that I should do that and see what happened.

THIS… is what came up on screen next…

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Obviously this led to a friend and me, testing out a whole bunch of hashtags. We wanted to see just how far Bebo had gone. Every swear word, slang term and sexual hashtag we could think of… had an image to accompany it!

I was then advised by Bebo’s avatar to check what was trending. And there, in the top ten trends, was the F word.

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Now I’m sorry Bebo, if you thought this whole “attitude” gimmick was a funny and clever way to reel in teenagers, but I don’t think it’s big or clever. Where are the adult content filters? Yes, these might be avatars, not photographs, but I don’t want my children learning these words. You can still get the gist of what is happening in the avatars. Where is the censorship? The internet is a dangerous enough place for minors as it is, it seems Bebo is now intent on corrupting young people as early as possible.

Why were these rude avatars even made?
Why is there no censorship or age restrictions on Bebo?
And why are Bebo letting their representing employees recommend profane hashtags on Twitter and allowing them to be rude to potential network users?

Yes I know, I sound like a ranty mum… but I AM a ranty mum!

In fact, maybe I am one of the “boring people” that Bebo say will not suit their network, but that’s okay by me, I’ve long outgrown laughing at cartoon images of people farting.

#BeboBeRude

  1. Sam says:

    Thank you so much for raising awareness of this. I can’t believe they can get away with it.
    Thankfully my children are too young for places like that but it’s certainly made me much more aware for the future.
    Sam recently posted..My Week AheadMy Profile

  2. Claire LazyGirl Blog says:

    That is disgraceful! I have often wondered what happened to Bebo, and clearly it has lingered too long in the dustbin, and picked up some inappropriate language. A shame as the whole “create an avatar” instead of having personal images could have made it great for kids too young for Facebook and Twitter. But I shall not be venturing Mini onto it. As for the artist, Artistic temperament in no excuse!
    Claire LazyGirl Blog recently posted..Is It Just Me: Wondering What The Fuss Is About Kim Sears Swearing?My Profile

  3. Ellie says:

    I am by far a prude person but this has really horrified me, fair enough if it has an age restriction on it (but even still 16 would be more appropriate than a 12+ suggestion) for this not to be the first thing they think of is unbelievable! As for the quite frankly out of touch artist, I have never seen such little understanding about what is acceptable in the realms of children, 12 is not an acceptable age to be talking about ‘anal’ and as they tweeted to someone else, no you wouldn’t let your child watch Family Guy or play on something like this but without an appropriate restriction from the start how can you stop it happening! Out of touch is an understatement!!! Sorry to rant and thank you for bringing this to the attention of us all x
    Ellie recently posted..Brewhouse Yard MuseumMy Profile

  4. Amy says:

    Sat here reading this literally gobsmacked. You couldn’t have posted this at a better time considering it’s safe internet day today. Sounds like Bebo has been dreamt up by a bunch of adolescent teenagers. I’m shocked, disgusted and seriously concerned at this. How things like this are legal I just don’t know.
    Amy recently posted..Point + Shoot- Tuesday 10th FebruaryMy Profile

  5. Tory Knowles says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Regardless of the shay moral grounds it’s really unprofessional and just makes them looms like silly kids trying to be cool. Hoever, the damage that their attitude could ahve amoung impressionale young children is far reaching.

    Clear case of a company descending into trash talk and sensationalism to attract interest. Bit sad really.

  6. Sarah MumofThree World says:

    Oh my goodness! Those images actually made me feel sick! I don’t want to see them myself and the thought of my kids seeing them fills me with horror.
    Thanks very much for making us aware of this – I will make sure they give Bebo a very wide berth!
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted..GCSE optionsMy Profile

  7. Anne Wallwin says:

    how awful! they should be moving away from this sort of thing not highlighting it. This is the last thing teenagers should be looking at.

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