You might remember Yik Yak, the anonymous gossip app that spread like wildfire back in the Spring.
The app, which allows users to post anything they want for anyone within 2 miles of their location to see, was crazy popular at high schools and colleges around the country.
Now the app that’s stirring up trouble is called “After School,” a social network specifically created for high school students.
After School, which launched in mid-November, has been making school administrators and parents nervous.
Like Yik Yak, which first spread through high schools in the Northeast, After School is making its starting rounds in Detroit, where various school districts have taken action by alerting parents via email about the app.
One Michigan high school began a petition to remove the app from Apple’s App Store indefinitely.
Re/code talked to After School’s creators — Cory Levy and Michael Callahan (of One, a San Francisco-based social media startup), and asked them some questions about their app and about how they plan on combatting the obvious strain of bullying that goes hand-in-hand with anonymous apps such as theirs.
“Our job is to protect our users. … At this point we don’t have a 100 per cent solution as to what that means,” Callahan told Re/code. “Our main goal is to remove the worst of the worst.” This was the case during the gun threat, which set off the app’s automatic alert system at 2 am Monday morning. Callahan and Levy say they called the local authorities and the school to report the post.
The crux of the issue is After School’s unexpected popularity. Since launch, users from more than 14,000 different high schools across the country have already downloaded the app, says Levy. For comparison, there are roughly 24,500 public high schools in total in the United States.
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