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Congresswoman Linda Sanchez

Representing the 38th District of CA

Linda Sánchez Sends Letter to Maker of App Involved in Threat to Cerritos High School

May 2, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC – Representative Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and a member of the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus, sent a letter to Nuistars Inc., the developer of Ogle, a social media app which allows high school students to post photos, videos and text anonymously on campus specific forums.

Ogle has been used to post threats to schools across the country, including a recent threat to Cerritos High School which turned out to be a hoax.

In the letter to Nuistars, Rep. Linda Sánchez raised concerns about the lack of accountability for those posting inappropriate or offensive comments, pictures and videos to Ogle. The letter also asked Nuistars to address three specific questions on Ogle’s operations regarding threats and bullying: 

  1. What mechanisms is Ogle using to report and review inappropriate content?
  2. How does Ogle cooperate with law enforcement? 
  3. What recourse do individuals, many of whom are minors, have when lewd photos of them are posted without their consent? 

Full text of the letter

Dear Mr. Jiang,

Recently, a student anonymously posted a serious threat on the page of a high school in my district on Ogle. Since then, students, teachers and parents have raised alarm that Ogle users have also been posting inappropriate images, and pejorative comments about other students. While I understand the intent of this app is to “connect to your campus in a fun, creative way,” I, like many in my community, have concerns about the way this app is being used.

Ogle allows students, many of whom are minors, to operate behind a wall of anonymity. As such, I am increasingly concerned by the amount of bullying and harassment on the app, and the lack of accountability for those posting. While school teachers and administrators have the ability and flexibility to address this kind of conduct on school grounds, they are not able to intervene in comments transmitted over the internet (cyberbullying). The anonymous posting of these comments makes it impossible to hold individuals accountable for derogatory, inappropriate and mean-spirited remarks that have major implications for the children they are targeting.

More than one in four children in America will be bullied either at school or online. Bullying has serious consequences for youth. It contributes to high dropout rates, increased absenteeism, and significant underachievement, can lead to physical and psychological issues and in some tragic cases, suicide.

Given the recent events in my district, I would appreciate a response to the questions below about Ogle’s policies and welcome any additional information about what Ogle is doing to combat cyber bullying. 

  1. What mechanisms is Ogle using to report and review inappropriate content?
  2. How does Ogle cooperate with law enforcement? 
  3. What recourse do individuals, many of whom are minors, have when lewd photos of them are posted without their consent? 

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