High school students are starting to use a new app called Burnbook that is causing a lot of people to voice concerns. The app encourages anonymous posting that can lead to bullying.
Some of the posts that can be seen on Burnbook are mean spirited, and have started many people to ask app developers to revamp the app including monitoring the app more closely for mean or uncalled for comments.
How Burnbook Works'
Burnbook uses a person’s location to find local communities, and those are further sectioned off according to a user’s school. Once inside of a school’s community on Burnbook, users can post photos, add comments, and state anything they want too all anonymously. This means that one user could post a photo about a classmate, and other classmates can vote that photo up or down or add additional comments.
The fear here (and it’s not a far-fetched one) is that some students will use the app to make fun of other students, and these are comments that other students can make worse or add to. So far, the app is causing trouble, and it was just recently launched. Already, app developers have had to change some of the app rules due to one student threatening to bring a gun to school. Comments of this nature have prompted Burnbook to ask for a user’s phone number and other basic information, but the users still remains anonymous.
The app’s developers have changed the rules to note that user IP addresses can be accurately and quickly tracked. In some cases, the police have been called in order to take care of some students that were posting threats and other concerns via the app. App developers also warn that parents should be keeping a tight watch on kids that use the app, and that teens can be held responsible for any kind of threat or other questionable content that’s posted on the app.
App developers, while criticized, have also stated that the app does require users to download and agree to a set of rules prior to using the app. From this angle, the app and its developers are covered as far as legalities go, but some claim that this is not enough. Burnbook isn’t the only app to have this problem, though. Those against these types of apps have also called out the popular Snapchat app for the same reasons.
Burnbook developers have told press that the company plans to work closer with law enforcement and other authorities in order to make sure that users aren’t using the app for bullying or other purposes. Anyone using the app should know that Burnbook will automatically disable any account that does violate the app’s rules.
If you do use Burnbook, or have a teen that uses this app, you should know that any illegal content is being taken seriously by the app’s developers. Burnbook won’t be the only app to be called out for the same reasons, and regulations surrounding these types of apps are likely to be stricter in the near future.