HallPass: For Teens

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
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School-based network with private groups, no privacy policy.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Created for entertainment and not intended for learning.

Ease of Play

Familiar functionality is second nature.

Violence

User-generated content could contain violent, sexual, profane, or substance-related posts/messages.

Sex

User-generated content could contain violent, sexual, profane, or substance-related posts/messages. App scans photos for racy content.

Language

User-generated content could contain violent, sexual, profane, or substance-related posts/messages.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

User-generated content could contain violent, sexual, profane, or substance-related posts/messages.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that HallPass: For Teens is a social-networking app that is marketed as a network for middle and high school users only ("no parents or teachers to worry about"), but there's no actual verification that users are students at the schools they name during the registration process. Kids are asked to verify or share their phone contacts who go to their school, but that's for marketing the app and not for verifying age. No privacy policy is available, but the terms of service are available in-app.

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What's it about?

HALLPASS: FOR TEENS is a school-based social network. Teens don't have to enter an email address or phone number to join, but they do have to share contacts' phone numbers; those contacts then receive an invitation. Users select a school from the list, searchable by ZIP code, and choose their graduation year. They can then connect with anyone else in that school, create private groups from the school community, share photos and text on their wall, and message schoolmates. Teens can only join one school.

Is it any good?

A school-specific social network is often a double-edged sword since there are built-in friends but communications aren't always friendly. The app store description for HallPass: For Teens states it's for high school and middle school students, but the terms of service state it's for teens 13 and up. It does offer some features to protect teens, such as an automated image monitor that automatically checks photos posted for adult content. Teens can also flag inappropriate posts and delete their own posts. However, there's no way to delete an account, and so far the users aren't there yet to make it a hot hangout. Also, there's no privacy policy, so it's unclear how user information is collected and shared, if at all. For teens 13 and up, there's not much new here to entice, concern, or recommend, but if it becomes a hot property in a teen's school community, parents may want to check in about the culture and tone teens are setting in the app. 

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App details

For kids who love social networking

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