PostSecret Pulls iOS App Over Abusive Submissions
On the website, anonymous users share their deepest secrets with the world by physically mailing a postcard to a Maryland address. In the app, however, users simply post anonymous messages via their iPhone. As with any anonymous forum on the Internet, malicious users come out of the woodwork to abuse the system, as Warren explained:
99% of the secrets created were in the spirit of PostSecret. Unfortunately, the scale of secrets was so large that even 1% 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.Warren notes that while the app is closed, the PostSecret blog and the traditional post card-based submissions are still being accepted via snail mail.
Bad content caused users to complain to me, Apple and the FBI. I was contacted by law enforcement about bad content on the App. 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.
Like many of you, I feel a great sense of loss from this decision but please know that we fought hard behind the scenes to find a permanent solution. We even tried prescreening 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.