Censorgram Looks to Change Social Media
Thursday, Oct 16, 2014 • Updated at 8:16 PM EDT
The makers of a new app hope it will help some kids block out the dark side of social media, cyber bullying.“Help stop cyber bullying, spammers, haters and more,” says the narrator of a promotional video for the new app called Censorgram. The makers of Censorgram said they want to completely change the social media landscape.
“We’ve kind of dubbed it as the new social security,” said Jay Leopardi of Bad Boy Branding, the South Florida company behind Censorgram. “We can’t stop someone from killing themselves. That’s out of anybody’s control. However, we can mitigate the risk.”The app works by entering key words, phrases, or hashtags that you think someone might use to taunt your child and the app stops any post that contains those keywords or phrases from appearing on your page.“It eliminates the ability for somebody to cyber bully you or cyber stalk you,” said Leopardi Censorgram’s founder is actor Quinton Aaron, who starred in the movie, “The Blind Side,” and was bullied as a child in real life.“I cannot stand to see someone get bullied,” said Melky Jean.Jean is a three-time, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter. Jean said she and her more famous brother, singer Wyclef Jean, were bullied relentlessly as kids growing up in New Jersey because of their Haitian ethnicity.“When I hear about children committing suicide because of their sexual orientation or because someone made them feel bad about themselves; it’s my job as a woman, as an artist, to do what I can to help them,” Jean said.Once Jean learned about the app, she said she didn’t hesitate to jump on board.“When I was 14, I was insecure, or maybe I didn’t feel beautiful, but back then we didn’t have Facebook where someone could go, ‘Melky, your skin’s too dark’ or ‘Melky, you’re chubby’ or ‘you’re fat,’ we didn’t have that back then,” Jean said.Jean continued, “I remember how hard it was for me without social media. So now, not only can someone say that to your face, they can tweet it, they can put it on Facebook and thousands of people see it within seconds,” said Jean.
The Censorgram app hit the market without any marketing whatsoever. Now that celebrities are getting behind it; Jean is hoping a lot more kids will benefit from it.“So getting involved with Censorgram,” Jean explained, “is my way of being able to say, you do have a voice, and we have your back.”Jean says several NBA and NFL players have expressed interest in promoting the app and yes, she says brother Wyclef will be part of the team, too.It’s available for download on Apple App Store and at the Android Play Store, free to try, and $3.99 for the full version.