New app geared towards high school students causing concerns

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FARGO, N.D. (KVLY) -- A new app geared towards high school students is drawing some concerns about safety. Facebook has rolled out a new app that's similar to Snapchat.

Lifestage lets teens connect to their school and share videos, likes and dislikes. The problem is, experts say there is no screening or verification of who signs up or how old the person actually is. What makes Lifestage different is that you can connect with your school.

After downloading the app, you create a username, verify it through a cellphone number and you're in. Using location settings, you're able to select a school from a list of local high schools in the area, with no questions asked.

"You can always lie about what your age is,” said Avigail Walker. “I know that I had Facebook when I was 12 and I said that I was 18. So, yeah, it can be a very dangerous place. So if there is no verification for how old you are, like, anyone can be on there, and that can be horrible."

The app is drawing some criticism for not having privacy settings, and experts say it could easily be used to stalk teenagers.

"You have to watch your kids and you have to lock it down a little bit. You have to respect their privacy, but when it comes to things like social media, you have to be a parent and say yes and no,” said Shelley Odille. “And when a no is no, you can't just be their friends, you have to be looking for their best interest. You are their parent. They will like you in the long run, in the short run they may not. I think the long run, they will turn out better if you are a little bit stricter, and kids need to grow up a little more innocent than they tend to right now."

Technology experts did reach out to Facebook, and in a statement Facebook says that they require a cell phone number, which provides some protection. Adding that if anyone using the app notices something suspicious, they can report it.

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