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Clear – The Social Media Stupidity Countermeasure

Cover Your Tracks

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Tragic and/or amusing tales of people saying stupid, offensive and generally ill-advised things on Facebook and Twitter are flaring up all over the place at the moment like eczema of the soul. As a result, people are gradually learning to be more careful what they say online, especially since getting the sack is a very real risk if you’re dumb enough or unpleasant enough to start hurling prejudice around on such platforms. Of course this wasn’t always the case and there’s always a danger that something off-colour that was said months or even years ago could be dredged up and taken out of context (or in context, you jerk).

Thankfully for all the jerks and footmouthers (patent pending) out there, an app called Clear has now been put on the market to help you shake all the foulness free from that particular etch-a-sketch. Once connected with your various accounts, the app will scan for inappropriate content (pertaining to profanity, singling out of various groups and whatever other nasty business) and flag it, allowing you to go back and erase all the sin, whether or not you decide to say a Hail Mary or two while you do it is up to you.

How useful this app really is depends on the context of the flagged posts. If there was some manner of contextual justification for them (say your account was accessed by somebody else with a very poor sense of humour, you were under a shamanic spell at the time or showcasing material for a deliberately shocking stand-up routine) then it makes sense but if you did genuinely go on some rage-fuelled rant against women, Asian people or people with three nipples then covering it up really doesn’t solve much, it just keeps you from getting in hot water with future employers/parents-in-law/private detectives hired to investigate you by your enemies.

As well as particular key-words, the app can allegedly ferret out posts that, whilst not containing any singularly dodgy terms, have an overly negative or aggressive sentiment. Even with that taken into account, it’s unlikely to find everything, passive aggression and sarcasm are both things, after all

It likely also gets tripped up by things that might carry a negative sentiment, but in truth were completely innocent, I imagine that if I were to implement it then all the various statuses on Facebook which featured me whining about faulty software, dodgy landlords or just really bad hangovers would quickly emerge. Mostly the ones from 5 or more years ago, I was an exceptionally grumpy teenager. The app is still in the beta phase at the moment anyway and peer review will likely work out some of the kinks, but for those of you with a plethora of social media closet-skeletons, this is worth signing up for. 

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Clear – The Social Media Stupidity Countermeasure Reviewed by Callum Davies on Friday, April 24, 2015 Rating: 5

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