Wednesday, March 15, 2017

It's back! -Jaycee Hughes

A ‘new’ app has recently made its way into our schools. The ‘After School’ app was brought back by the Play Store after its removal in 2015 after a woman named Juliana Davis made an online petition to have the app removed due to the vulgar and inappropriate things posted-- along with a threat posted on the app by a Michigan teen. I downloaded it just to get the gist of the ‘popular’ app. Most of the things that kids posted were compliments, but most of them were not appropriate compliments that I could share with you here. As a few students here know, a post was made about someone, and it spread a little too far out of the web.

Many of you might be wondering why this app was allowed to be redone and downloaded again… From what I gathered, they have just changed the name and added that it is for “School News for Confessions & Compliments.”  Based on the parents' reviews, it seems as though only a few of them understand what is truly happening in the app. Many parents have taken their children’s phones away and went through the app, ending up very displeased with their children and the school for not doing anything about it. Here are some examples of their comments:

“Gains access to names and phone numbers from users contacts. It is aimed at kids so it is asking minors for other minors contact info. The app then sends the new contact text messages. The site claims to be healthy and moderated but it is full of sexual innuendo and imagery. Also, it is anonymous and anonymous apps have a long history of sheltering the worst of human behavior. This is no different.” ~ Written by Mr. A who is an educator.

“My daughter has an account (that she is no longer allowed to access). I'm not sure who's monitoring it because my daughter is 15 and the app was showing short ***** videos that other students posted. If the students write their own post they can choose ****** images and videos to post along with their comment. These images are provided by the app. It's disgusting and I can't believe this is allowed. After School is providing ***** to underage children. I've also seen several posts that kids post about other children saying that they want to do certain things to them. It's sick. They say they review each post so they should be personally held responsible for the trauma that these children experience as they are bullied, harassed and subjected to *****. By the way, the version I am viewing is the "edited" version of the app. If my daughter had access to the 17+ content I'm not sure what she would be able to view.” ~ Written by lauriem24 an educator and parent.

Many parents are unhappy, and I know that it was only two responses, but I felt that those two showed a genuine response to it.
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