Technology

Abusive posts results in end of PostSecret iPhone app

MUMBAI: PostSecret, the popular blog and new-media project that‘s long given people a place to share their deepest, darkest thoughts, announced that its iPhone app has been shut down due to malicious postings.


PostSecret founder Frank Warren receives hundreds of postcards and letters from strangers every week and posts about 20 of them on his blog on Sundays. The app was launched in September 2011.


Warren said that anonymous acts of kindness and malice played out in a creative and complex online culture of two million shared secrets.


The PostSecret app let users take photos and upload 140 characters worth of ‘secret‘ to the PostSecret mobile community with absolute anonymity which was part of the reason why the app became popular.


"Unfortunately, that absolute anonymity made it very challenging to permanently remove determined users with malicious intent," Warren wrote on the PostSecret blog. "99 per cent of the secrets created were in the spirit of PostSecret. Unfortunately, the scale of secrets was so large that even 1 percent of bad content was overwhelming for our dedicated team of volunteer moderators who worked 24 hours a day 7 days a week removing content that was not just pornographic but also gruesome and at times threatening."


It was reported that users complained to Warren, Apple, and the FBI about bad content. "Threats were made against users, moderators and my family. (Two specific threats were made that I am unable to talk about). As much as we tried, we were unable to maintain a bully-free environment. Weeks ago I had to remove the App from my daughter‘s phone," Warren added.


He said that PostSecret fought hard the decision to close the app, even attempting to prescreen 30,000 secrets a day. "Deciding to remove the App from the App Store last week and holding back the release of the Android version cost us money but we feel it was the right thing to do."

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