WARNING to Parents: Check Your Kids’ Phone For the After School App

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New apps are popping up all the time.  This is why monitoring your child’s phone, apps, and activities is so important.  The newest app I have a personal experience with is called After School.  My son called me upset because horribly things were being said about his girlfriend, sexual things. I’m thinking, what kind of app is he using and what is it supposed to be for? My first thought is that maybe it was a tutor or homework help or maybe a meet up app and he could just report the posts as being inappropriate. Turns out it’s an app where people can be anonymous and say, pretty much whatever they want to say about their peers.

I visited the After School app website. It claims to be ”

“After School fosters fun and creative online and offline experiences for America’s teens, in a positive environment with zero tolerance for cyberbullying, threats, or content that threatens the safety of our online community.”

But that is far from what it is. In fact, it’s a breeding ground for everything listed and then some.  I downloaded the app myself to see first hand how easy it was to use and get into.  It’s a free app to start so the barrier of paying for it is already eliminated. It requires you to turn on location service to “locate your school” so you can find your school.  There is no way to use the app without turning location service on.
As soon as the app turns on you are greeted with this picture:

Inappropriate for what is supposed to be a “positive kids app”.  Once in your presented with a list of school from the location service which are pretty accurate and your child must select a school.

It goes on to have you choose an anonymous picture.  Really anyone can sign up for this app. It also asks to access your contacts “so you can find other people that go to your school”. Um wouldn’t a child already know most of the people he/she would want to communicate with??   Then there are filters for sexual, profanity, and drugs. In order to have these taken off they want you to scan your id into the app to “prove” you are 17 yrs of age+.  How scary is that?!!  It also requires the user to link their facebook account so I don’t know how it could be anonymous.

Once on, Kids can use gifs along with their posts. Quite a few inappropriate for kids with one that pulled up almost immediately with a girl half dressed shaking her butt.  Kids asking questions like “Would you have sex with Dyllan at school?” and kids talking about having 3 ways. Yes there are innocent ones like kids admitting they have a crush on someone or if they would kiss so and so but it’s maybe only 50% of the posts. Most are sexual related and I didn’t even turn off the filters because there was no way I was scanning any ID!!  Some kids are actually using their actual pictures and I know some of these kids!!  They have to link their facebook accounts to join so it’s not truly anonymous.

I can also not find a way to easily remove yourself from the app.  Here are just a couple things I found in the 5 min I was on there but there were plenty more.

 

This app with location services and the way kids talk would be a pediphiles dream.  I can’t tell you how to parent but I recognized plenty of kids on there that my son knows. Kids I never thought would say those things.  Check your kids phones.  Don’t assume your kid wouldn’t do that. I never thought my son would fall for an app like this but he did!

There are stories of kids being contacted by people that don’t even go to their school.  When I searched more about it I found an article about in on the Washington Post as well.


About Angie

I'm a wife and a a mom of 4: 3 boys and 1 baby girl. I work part-time outside my home as a COTA/L at a local hospital. I'm about 70 miles East of Pittsburgh. I love to do reviews and host giveaways for my readers. Contact me: angwith4 at gmail dot com if you would like a review.