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After School Banned From Apple App Store -- Again

The controversial social networking app is rejected for violating Apple's App Store prohibition on "personal attacks" and "objectionable content."

After School, the controversial anonymous social networking app for high school students, has been removed from Apple’s App Store for the second time in a week — this time for violating two App Store guidelines prohibiting inappropriate content.

Apple pulled After School on Tuesday amid growing concern over the threats of violence and bullying that have been occurring on it. After School was cited for violating the “personal attacks” and “objectionable content” categories of Apple’s App Store Guidelines. Apple was likely pointing to these two violations.

  • 14.1 — Any App that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harm’s way will be rejected.
  • 16.1 — Apps that present excessively objectionable or crude content will be rejected.

After School developer Cory Levy said Apple’s decision to remove the app from the App Store doesn’t mean it is gone for good. He submitted a new version of the app to Apple for review on Wednesday. Levy said that version includes a new reporting system that automatically removes flagged content from a user’s stream. Any such flagged content will be investigated within 24 hours, he added.

Though After School’s promise of anonymity seems to be fueling the company’s recent woes, Levy said he has no plans to adjust it. “The app will continue to be an anonymous place for kids to post and we’ll continue to stay on top of the safety of our community,” he said in a statement provided to Re/code.

Since its launch, After School has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Last week, students using the app in Ohio and Michigan anonymously threatened to bring guns to school. A third shooting threat at a Detroit high school Wednesday resulted in an arrest after After School provided non-public information to officials investigating it.

One of After School’s biggest problems is an inability to keep up with its rising popularity. The app is already in more than 14,000 high schools across the country, and students are posting thousands of messages per hour during peak times.

After School’s creators have a team of only eight people overseeing it, and told Re/code last week that they don’t yet have the tools in place to combat every inappropriate post.

Said co-founder Michael Callahan: “Our main goal is to remove the worst of the worst.”

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