After School is a social network mobile application for high schools that allows users to post and share anonymous text-based posts and images with others. As of July 2016, After School had more than 20,000 American high school users. CEO Michael Callahan described the app as a network where teens could express themselves, seek and give help to others in need, and reach out to others.
A teen’s online anonymity allows them to ask difficult, uncomfortable questions anonymously and address issues such as depression, coming out as gay to their parents, and daily teen struggles. In contrast, popular social sites such as Facebook and Instagram encourage curated identities.
To begin, the app verifies that you are a real high school student by connecting to your Facebook account using interests, acquaintances, and birthdays before you can post in a high school group.
Moderation & abuse report
The After School app encourages students to be supportive and assist other students by enforcing strict “zero tolerance” policies on bullying and threats.” The app prohibits “explicitly sexual, violent, or intended to induce physical or psychological injury to an individual or group” material.
After School has human moderators and software to detect harmful or dangerous language, every post is checked before being posted to ensure it does not break company community standards. Students may report content that they deem improper or offensive using a Report button on each post.
- After School requires iOS devices to be 17 years old or older to function correctly, and parental controls can be used to hide the app.
- Parents can use After School’s custom controls on both Apple and Android devices to monitor or restrict their child’s usage. They must set up the settings within the app on their child’s smartphone, password-protect the settings, adjusting content filters, or restrict the general app use.
- To set parental controls on an Apple device, go to Settings -> General -> Restrictions.
The After School app does not have typical privacy settings because users’ information is always anonymous unless they identify themselves in a post. Students can also post shout-outs or “ship” posts that include other students. Users can opt out of these features by contacting [email protected] Students may not select users that have opted out through these features. It is against After School’s Community Guidelines to ‘share personal information of other students.’ Students are encouraged to report posts that contain personal information.
Those first few weeks with a new app or service can be a little daunting. We don’t know how it works, and we’re nervous about giving it a whirl.
From a parent’s perspective, it can be tempting to jump in and figure it out ourselves. But the truth is that you might be better off waiting until your child asks for help.
Too often, kids will get frustrated with an app or service and just give up on it, never realizing there might be a way to use it safely and effectively.
It’s also a good time for parents and kids to talk about what their child wants to do After School, whether using a messaging app, social media platform, gaming site, or whatever. You should never feel pressured to get tech-savvy before your child does.