A new app called Streetchat (think YikYak, but no longer localised) is hitting high schools — and teenagers are starting to get exasperated.
The app lets students at high schools and colleges anonymously post photos and captions about anyone they want — from anywhere they want.
The app’s terms and conditions say the users can’t post illegal content, but it also says the app doesn’t monitor content.
This is similar to YikYak, an anonymous message-board app that let you post anything you wanted. Anyone within two miles of you could read it. Teens we spoke to in May of this year said it tore their high schools apart.
Now, Streetchat is here to do the same. Kayla Miller, 16, a junior at Scappoose High School in Oregon, “is now on a mission to get the Streetchat app shut down,” reports KATU News. “She posted a public video announcement to the student body at Scappoose High School on Wednesday night on her Facebook page.”
“I have been on Streetchat,” she said in the video. “I have looked at everything on there. Most of it is bullying. What’s going on in our high school? Have we not learned? Our generation, have we not learned, everyone in this world deserves a place.”
“What the heck is wrong with us?” she added.
In Norwalk, Connecticut, a 14-year-old student allegedly used Streetchat to post pictures of a Spanish teacher with sexually charged captions. He’s now facing charges.
And at John Jay High School in Westchester, New York, — this author’s former high school — teachers received a letter that would be sent home Monday with students, alerting parents of Streetchat.
“As a school we have taken a proactive approach by blocking access to the app from our school’s internet servers,” the letter read.
“However, we cannot control access beyond our school’s campus such as access from student smartphones or home internet. We are asking that parents and guardians also ask their children to remove the app from their phones and other devices, and encourage their friends to do so as well.”
A teacher who works at the school told Business Insider he wishes he never downloaded the app after reading the letter — the first he had heard of Streetchat’s existence.
“There are kids posting nice stuff about each other. Like a few kids trying to change the tone,” he told Business Insider. “But those comments aren’t getting ‘upvoted.'”