Burnbook App CEO Promises Change After School Threat - NBC 7 San Diego

Burnbook App CEO Promises Change After School Threat



    Threats Over BurnBook Prompt Changes to App

    The developer of the app known as BurnBook is promising changes. NBC 7's education reporter Rory Devine was at Del Norte High School, the target of a threat received through the app. (Published Thursday, March 5, 2015)

    After someone posted a threat to a San Diego school using the app Burnbook, the app’s developer is warning that nasty posts are not anonymous and your IP address can and will be tracked if you write something illegal.

    Jonathan Lucas, the CEO and developer of Burnbook, promised change when someone posted on the app Wednesday that they would bring a gun to Del Norte High School in 4S Ranch.

    “My immediate reaction is that’s awful,” said Lucas. “The threat of any kind is not something we condone.”

    The app is named after the infamous “burn book” from the hit movie “Mean Girls,” in which students write vicious comments and rumors about other girls.

    Threat Made Against San Diego School Through Burnbook App

    [DGO] Threat Made Against San Diego School Through Burnbook App
    San Diego police are investigating a threat of violence to the Del Norte High School campus in 4S Ranch posted on an app called Burnbook. NBC 7's Nicole Gomez reports.
    (Published Thursday, March 5, 2015)

    Burnbook users can post comments and pictures with a degree of anonymity, though Lucas cautions that their IP address is being tracked. The company will not give up your information as long as you don’t break the law, Lucas said.

    “We don’t want to know who posts. We don’t care who posts. But what we do care is if someone steps outside the boundary,” he said.

    Information about IP address tracking is on the terms of service, but now, he is putting it on the description page as well. He is also working to change the content of the app. Based on dislikes, it will be 40 percent easier to delete messages people find offensive.

    As Del Norte High students arrived Thursday, their backpacks were checked, and there was a police presence on campus all day.

    “It’s sad someone would do something like that,” said senior Austin Kindig. “I think it points to how teenagers are nowadays. A lot of people are so gossipy, I know. I think it reflects our school as a whole.”

    The Poway Unified School District said the word “retard” was used in the threatening post. On Wednesday, there were rallies to bring awareness to the negative connotation of that word to try to eliminate its use.

    The district and police believe the person who posted the threat was trying to make fun of that effort. Police have the IP address of that person they believe is responsible for the threat.