Rio Americano High School

The Mirada

Rio Americano High School

The Mirada

Rio Americano High School

The Mirada

Student-Created Social Media App Temporarily Disabled After Backlash

Cyberbullying and harassment occurring on Only Social prompts its creator to make changes
Only Socials app icon.
Only Social’s app icon.

A student-created social media app that has raised concerns among students and parents because of anonymous cyberbullying and harassment on the platform has been taken down by its creator while he adds features he hopes will curb abuse.

The move came after the creator of the Only Social app met with Rio Americano High School Principal Cliff Kelly to discuss bullying on the platform.

Senior Evan Ah-Yun, the creator of the app, told the Mirada he has temporarily disabled it while he works on improving the moderation features to reduce instances of harassment. He plans to relaunch the app once the changes are made, though the timeline for that is unclear.

Ah-Yun said that he had expected some inappropriate comments on an app that guarantees anonymity but did not “expect it to blow up as fast as it did.” 

“I’m pulling it down to create something better aimed more at college students,” he said. “It’s a learning lesson for everyone. It comes to a moral perspective and to what you think is right. How can I do this differently?”

Rio students using the app quickly encountered bullying anonymous comments, including body shaming and false claims about being transgender.

“People I know have been intensely cyberbullied and shamed on this app,” one Rio senior, who asked to not be named, said. “It seems to spread hate and make people think it’s okay to say things that should never be tolerated. No one should be crying at school because they have been harassed online for just being who they are and without having done anything wrong.”

The app, which now has more than 12,000 users, offers complete anonymity by giving users a randomized username when they sign up. It offers private messaging and group chats, and users can join “channels” meant for discussion on various topics.

The controversial platform, available on the Apple App Store since March, is a “groundbreaking new app posed to revolutionize the social media landscape by offering a truly anonymous platform,” according to the official description.

As students began complaining about cyberbullying, Kelly met with Ah-Yun, but neither the school administration nor the district can take action because the app was created off campus and posts cannot be traced.

“Although we do not have any authority over the mobile app, I have met with the student to discuss concerns raised by students and community,” Kelly said in a robocall to Rio families.

The app has been restricted on the district’s Wifi network, though it can still be accessed from cellular networks while at school.

View Comments (5)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Adam Abolfazli, Editor-in-Chief‏‏‎ ‎

Comments (5)

These comments do not reflect the opinions of the Rio Mirada staff and are for discussion purposes
All The Mirada Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Samuel ChiApr 30, 2024 at 11:25 PM

    I personally never had the app myself, but when I did see the content on it I was surprised by the amount of negative comments there were on the app.

  • kwinApr 29, 2024 at 7:22 PM

    I found this app in its early stages to be a brilliant form of freedom of speech. I hope it expands and allows more students to connect on a platform not controlled by an outside source and moderated by members of the student body.

  • CharlieApr 23, 2024 at 1:37 PM

    The app brought out a great platform for students to share a thought or reach out for help and not be judged. What it also brought was a platform for some disturbing content that should make some parents concerned about where society is going. It being a 17+ app in my house required approval to get access. I would know my kid had the app and would check the app history to confirm what kind of content my kid is posting about. The intent of the app has a place in our world today. Fear of being judged for your opinion or thought should not guide your response. The poor character of some content providers needs to be weeded out.

  • Lucas ConnorsApr 21, 2024 at 6:55 PM

    I personally liked the app.

  • TFApr 21, 2024 at 8:47 AM

    Although I am not surprised, knowing human nature, I still am heavily disappointed how people can take advantage of anonymity. This reminds me of Plato’s allegory: “The ring of Gyges.” A Shepard finds a ring that grants him invisibility and anonymity and then immediately, using this power, seduces the queen and kills the king to rule the kingdom. Many philosophers, from John Locke to Confucius, fiddled with this idea of morality, whether it is innate, a balance of natures, or externally enforced in some sort of way. I feel like if more people were familiar with philosophy, this issue may not have happened. I do not fault the creator not for seeing this, as I would have been blinded by excitement to share my creation with the world as well, but the people who are responsible for defiling his platform are horrible people, and I fault them to the fullest. I am disgusted by this behavior and I find it is sad that we have submitted to such destruction of morality due to lack of restriction.