When the After School app debuted in mid-November of last year, it hit the market with impressive and unexpected success. After School was specifically aimed at high school students and provided them with an profile in which they can share posts, messages and more while being able to stay completely anonymous. Within its first month since its launch, more than 14,000 different high schools across the country have already downloaded the app and there is roughly 24,500 high schools in the U.S.! You do the math.
After School became the choice of extreme scrutiny by parents and school officials. Detroit schools were emailing the app developers to implement some sort of censorship, even Michigan schools were petitioning for the app to be taken down. Come December, the app was responsible numerous safety issues, most of which were many school shooting threats. App stores decided that After School was not upholding App Guidelines and was removed from app stores all together.
This is where it gets interesting. The developers knew that they had to bring this app back to its full glory. They worked long and hard to find a way to make this app safe for high schoolers once more. How did they do it? Total censorship: every post made by a student within the app needed to be approved by a human moderator before anyone can see it. Posts that fall under categories like “sexual,” “drugs,” or “profanity” won’t be shown unless a user has specifically requested to see that content, he added. No forms of bullying or hate speech will be allowed to be posted. The users who want to be able to be shown profanity and stuff of that nature must be 17 years old or older, and are required to scan their drivers license to prove it. Penalties of posting mean-spirited content will have their profiles suspended or muted.
Probably the biggest update of the app is that After School has partnered up with suicide prevention organizations. When users type certain key words like “Kill myself”, ” wish I was dead”, they will be asked to connect and reach out to someone immediately to be helped in one way or another.