New app exposes inappropriate material to students - The Herald: #Life

New app exposes inappropriate material to students

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Posted: Monday, February 23, 2015 3:37 pm

There is a growing trend between all of our generation's favorite apps. First came Snapchat, which has since been overrun with sexting and/or ugly selfies; then Yik Yak, a self-esteem crushing, anonymous twitter; then Tinder, whose purpose doesn't even need to be dignified with a description. Now there is Fade.

Although it is just becoming popular among A-state students, it dates back to March 2014 when it was still recognized as "Faded."

Those in charge of the app, JumpCam, decided to change the name and look of their app in order to generate a "greater concept to serve more schools, connect more students, and ultimately go for a wider appeal", as stated on their website, getfaded.com.

Their main target was college students and, considering the success of other anonymous apps, they seemed to have hit the mark.

Fade could be considered more like a Yik Yak with pictures instead of just words. Their motto is "Nothing Lasts Forever," which is a reference to how long each picture posted stays up. Upvotes will add more time to the standard 24 hours a picture stays up, and downvotes take time away.

For educational purposes only, I decided to get the app myself to gain a better perspective. Before downloading, all that I had heard about it was from the mouths of fraternity guys at a party, so I didn't come in thinking it would be a G-rated app.

Once the download was completed, it immediately asked for my phone number. With your phone number, it sends a validation code that you then enter into another page on Fade.

Now that it has your number and knows that it's you, you must allow Fade access to your location, in order to "validate your school feed," as stated in the app. I've heard no one puts their real names, so why would I? Enter "Johnny Appleseed."

Fade also asks for permission to "Find Friends," basically camouflaging their request for access to all your contacts. Finally, the registration process is over.

Automatically, a news feed pops up with the heading "Arkansas State," and lo and behold, the first picture I see is a mirror selfie of two boys with a caption referencing fellatio. It isn't until about 5 photos down that I came across the first nude on my feed.

Being a pretty desensitized liberal college student, I'm not bothered by someone's nakedness. I was, however, quite bothered by the amount I saw after this photo, especially in the "Best" section.

Fade has three separate news feeds that are a lot like the categories on Yik Yak. "New" is all of the most recent posts made by anyone at A-State; "Hot" contains all the posts that are rising; and "Best" are posts that have had the most upvotes. Posts in the "Best" section look to have over 1138 hours of time left and are still being upvoted as we speak.

As I scrolled down, I saw pretty much the same things over and over. There were lots of tit pics, lots of alcohol/pass-outs and even more fraternity vs. fraternity arguments. It has become somewhat of a thing to take a stereotype for a Greek organization and blow it out of proportion using ridiculous photos and captions, but I have never seen it quite like this before. It's questionable what the motive even is for this app after the repercussion of Yik Yak turned so severe that numerous schools have suspended it due to cyber bullying.

"I get on there for a good laugh because everyone else uses it to trash talk about anything or anyone, mainly Greek life," said Hunter Dilbeck, a junior sports management major of Doniphan, Missouri, and a member of Pi Kappa Alpha. "They won't say it to someone's face personally."

As I talked to more people about this, the same answers seemed to surface.

"Fade, to me is just like Yik Yak. It is something to look at to entertain people, whether what people are seeing is true or not," said Forrest Jones, a senior clinical laboratory sciences major of Marion and member of Sigma Chi. "I got Fade because someone showed me a funny picture, and I was on a 5-hour car ride and had nothing better to do. I believe people use it to shit talk fraternities and other individuals. I don't believe it really has any other purpose than that."

Of course it's a thing for fraternities to have rivalries, having as much testosterone around all the time does that to a person, but the app has even infiltrated its way into girl world caused problems.

"I got it to make sure nothing is said against me or my sorority," said Ashlyn Warren, a junior art education major of Brookland and a member of Alpha Omicron Pi. "People use it for entertainment and say things without being caught. It's only bad if you take things offensively."

Although the app endorses "Nothing Lasts Forever," I think people have forgotten that with the power of screenshotting, your nude pic can indeed last much longer than its time on Fade. It has even more recently made it's way to larger schools. However, digging through propaganda all day is a great time-waster, and even I must at least give it that.

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