VSBRO

App review by
Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Media
VSBRO App Poster Image
Chaotic social network for bros, by bros; not for kids.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Created for entertainment and not recommnded for learning.

Ease of Play

It's easy to create an account and start posting content right away. 

Violence

All content is user-generated, and there have been some posts threatening violence against other users, especially women who have created profiles on the platform. 

Sex

There's no content moderation and all content is user-generated, and it's not unusual to see suggestive images and nude photos.

Language

There's no content moderation and all content is user-generated, and images and captions frequently include profanity including words like "f--k" or "a--." 

Consumerism

You can buy VSBRO-branded swag from within the app, including hats and tee shirts. There's no sponsored content at the time of this review, but it's a little off-putting that users can earn a "verified" status by advertising their VSBRO account on their own Instagram account. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

All content is user-generated and unmoderated, and there are photos are young men drinking and smoking, and there are frequent references to drug use. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that VSBRO is a free social network developed by a group of college students as a space for male users -- specifically, a place for "bros" to post "bro" things. The social network's name is a reference to the photo sharing app VSCO, though VSBRO's developers repeatedly note that their platform has no connection to that app. Users can create a profile and upload photos from their device, and they can "fist bump" other users' posts. Users can add friends (called "bros" here, of course), and earn a "verified" status by linking to their VSBRO account on Instagram. Many posts are pretty benign snapshots of (mostly white) men and boys, but others posts have been much more toxic, including bullying other users and using racist, sexist, and homophobic language. Note: While there's a link for a privacy policy in the app store, the page is blank. Also, there are no privacy settings, and all posts are public by default. It's not recommended for kids. 

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What's it about?

VSBRO is a social network where users can share photos, add friends, and like other users' posts by adding a fist bump. There's no built-in way to take or edit photos, and there's no way to edit or comment on posts. Users can link their accounts to Instagram to earn a verified status. Overall, the app is meant for men, and women who have joined are generally not welcome on the platform.

Is it any good?

With so few features, there's not much to recommend this social network, and its overall vibe of boys behaving badly makes it even less appealing. Some posts are pretty benign, with users sharing photos of their friends who they missed during the coronavirus quarantine. But many more are downright vile, with users sharing racist, sexist, and homophobic words and images and even soliciting fist bumps to bully other users off the platform. There are no community guidelines, privacy policy, or terms of use, and though it's possible to report a post, it's not clear what impact that will have.

The developers get one thing right: This platform isn't like VSCO at all. It doesn't have nearly as many features as that photo-sharing and photo-editing app, and it doesn't work nearly as well. VSBRO is much more like other social media apps (think Peach and Yo) that briefly went viral for their own gimmicks. Hopefully this toxic boys' club meets the same fate.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes a productive online community. There are lots of unkind and even hateful posts on VSBRO, but the app doesn't have any community guidelines and it's not clear that reporting an offensive post has any effect. Why is it important to have rules about what's okay to post and share? 

  • Talk about being smart about what and how they share online in general. We have some great tips on safety and being a good digital citizen.

  • Talk about your family's rules for social media. What's OK to share? How can you protect yourself online, and how should you act online? Talk about what it means to be a good digital citizen.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: June 2, 2020
  • Category: Social Networking
  • Size: 87.70 MB
  • Publisher: VSBRO
  • Version: 1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 10.0 or later.
  • Last updated: June 12, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love connecting with friends

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