Streetchat - Image Board for Schools and Colleges

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Streetchat - Image Board for Schools and Colleges App Poster Image
Anonymous image board a hotbed for bullying, crude content.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Setting up an account is so easy that users don't even have to think of a username; the app creates one automatically (unfortunately, those names are things such as "bitcha" or "potslug"). 

Violence

Since the content is unmoderated and posted anonymously, there is the potential for violent images.

Sex

Though the terms of service specify no pornography is allowed, postings aren't monitored and won't be deleted unless there are several "downvotes" for them. Many posts are very suggestive and crass.

Language

Posts are filled with harsh language, racist and sexist language, and every curse word imaginable to the point that it's difficult to get a screenshot without including the word "f--k."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Much of the posted content is from parties, including lots of drinking and some drug use. One image is of a toddler who appears to be smoking marijuana, captioned with a racial slur.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Streetchat is an unmoderated, anonymous image board that uses geo-location to connect users with others at the same school. When teens open the app for the first time, they're presented with a list of schools near their current location. They select a school from the list that includes high schools, colleges, and universities and can view the images others have posted as well as vote on them, down or up, and comment. They can add their own images, too. Most pictures depict partying and sexual innuendo, and some are overtly racist and sexist. Bullying is always a concern with anonymous messaging and posting, and since Streetchat is local, the bullying can be targeted to the specific school audience. The terms of service do not specify a minimum age, but with the racy content and safety issues involved with geo-location and anonymous private messaging, this is not an app for kids.

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What's it about?

Upon opening STREETCHAT, users are assigned a username, and their location is detected. They can choose their school from the list of high schools and colleges and see images that others from that school have posted. They also can view a "best of" list of images. To post an image, users can choose one from their camera rolls, take one on the spot, or create one using text or the built-in meme generator. The leaderboard shows users whose images have received the most "upvotes."

Is it any good?

Though the idea of a local image board could be spun as community-building, anonymous posting with no moderation is more likely to destroy communities. When users first open Streetchat, they agree to the rules -- no pornography, no bullying -- along with reading a note that the content is not moderated but will be removed if enough people "downvote" it. That leaves plenty of time for enough people to see an image that could do some real damage. Content is tacky at best and hateful at worst, and the comments fall in the same categories. The one well-done feature is the meme creator, which includes dozens of meme images and a text editor that makes customizing memes easy. Really, if Streetchat could get rid of everything but the meme creator, it'd be a worthwhile, fun download. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the dangers of anonymous posting sites and the potential for bullying. Watch our video on cyberbullying and discuss it.

  • Stress to kids how to be safe and remind them to never give out personal information or meet up with a stranger, even if the person presents himself as a student from their school.

  • Parents can read more about Streetchat's potential misuses in our article "Do you Know Streetchat?"

App details

For kids who love social networking

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