Louisiana Parents Urged to Get This App Off Teen Phones
SHREVEPORT, LA – There’s another app kids are using that you might want to learn about. In fact, several school districts in Louisiana are alerting parents about safety concerns surrounding this app.
It’s called Saturn and it’s an app that is billed as a calendar for high school students. More than schools are now using the app. But there are lots of red flags related to Saturn. West Baton Rouge school officials are the latest to send out a warning.
On the Saturn app, teens can upload and share schedules, including classes and extracurricular groups, with other app users. It claims to be an app that will help teens keep their lives organized. But the caution flag is being raised because the app does not have any features that can protect users from inappropriate content, or things like cyberbullying. There’s also concern about sexual predators trolling the app and privacy concerns.
School officials in West Baton Rouge Parish posted this message:
“If your child installed the Saturn App on their iPhone, you may want to delete it.”
One school district in Florida is planning to ban the app from all district devices.
A critical concern is the lack of verification of users. This means folks can create fake accounts in an effort to get to these teenage students.
The warning from West Baton Rouge also says “the app allows students to log in using their personal cell numbers, Snapchat accounts, or student email addresses and that information allows students to join any school in the” country.” Kids can then friend each other, but there is no guarantee that the student sending the friend request is actually a student. There are many, many other features on this app that have the potential to expose children to unsafe situations while online.”
Bark.us which reviews apps used by young people also has some harsh things to say about the Saturn app:
"It’s likely that some kids may use the messaging feature of the app to cyberbully and harass other kids. Or use it to post generally inappropriate content. The company states that they enforce a positive atmosphere on the app with their community guidelines, but every app and social media platform has community guidelines — and things will always fall through the cracks."