Rain chances to continue into Saturday morning
Watch KFOR Live Interactive Radar

Anonymous app for kids that many parents know nothing about

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Millions of high school students nationwide have downloaded an app called After School - tens of thousands of those students live right here in Oklahoma. (See video for a list of users of many Oklahoma high schools.)

It sounds innocent, but it's an app that critics say is full of cyber bullying and porn.

The app allows students to sign up based on which school they attend, then post anonymously about things going on at the school.

The creators have come under fire from several social media watchdog groups, and have since amended the minimum age requirement to 17.

To participate, students must download the free app, select their school, then the app scans their Facebook page to make sure they are truly a student at that school.

That's when the gossip begins.

The creators of the app say After School is meant to be a safe place for students to anonymously discuss topics they may be too shy to talk about in person.

Co-creator Cory Levy told the Washington Post, “We wanted the users to feel very safe on After School. We want them to feel like if there’s something that they’re curious about but they don’t want their identity associated with, they can ask it.”

They have a zero tolerance policy for cyber bullying.

However, user reviews vary widely - some love it, others say the app is full of bullying and pornographic pictures, as well as many auto-generated posts by the app itself.

The Washington Post reports that a 15-year-old student from Michigan was forced to change her phone number when she started receiving harassing texts after someone posted her phone number on the the app.

At least four school shooting threats have been investigated in Ohio, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Virginia.

Several schools have held assemblies and sent home letters warning of the potential dangers of posting anonymously.

According to Re/code, After School's creators do have a screening system in place that searches for words such as "cut," "kill," or "bomb."

The app is actually more than a year old, but many parents still have no idea that it even exists.

Safety experts want parents to get involved and to ask their kids about their involvement with After School and others like it.

Ask.fm, Whisper, Secret, and Yik Yak are also anonymous apps that parents should search on their child's device.

Concerned parents can also set safety restrictions on the device, as well as add filters within the app, or delete it altogether.