Blue After School. (via techcrunch.com)
The app was bombarded with users shortly after launch and before it had built any safety or reporting features; high school students took advantage of the anonymity to bully and threaten one another, which caused a media frenzy driven by concerned parents and school administrators.
The App Store then removed After School for violating the “personal attacks” and “objectionable content” categories from its safety guidelines. The app was down for almost four months before new safety measures were implemented, including human curators who read every post.
Safety issues were responsible for all of After School’s trouble during the tail end of 2014. Multiple gun threats and cyberbullying incidents led school and political officials to call for the app’s removal. The problem was that After School didn’t have the appropriate reporting and safety measures in place - the app took off in popularity before co-founders Levy and CEO Michael Callahan were prepared to handle the traffic.
After School has since recruited a Safety Board to advise its founders on security and anti-bullying issues, and it added DoSomething.org as an official partner as part of Wednesday’s announcement, a volunteer organization for young people. The first partnership effort is around a campaign to get students “posting positive messages to boost the self-esteem of their peers,” according to an announcement shared with Re/code.