Plenty of us have posted things we regret to social media. The combination of the ubiquity of these apps and services and the ease of posting to them is conducive to impulsive behavior, after all. But when you forget about one of those posts only to be reminded of it by your boss, that’s when it can become a problem.
That exact situation is what led to the creation of Clear. The app’s founder, Ethan Czahor, had landed his dream job as CTO of Jeb Bush’s political operations. His happiness was short-lived, however, as posts from his Twitter feed came back to bite him. “I created Clear to make sure situations like mine never happen to anyone ever again,” he writes on Clear’s website.
Clear connects to your social media accounts — Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are currently supported — and algorithmically searches for both blatantly offensive terms (obscenities, etc) as well as terms that could be offensive. The latter includes references to race, religion, and sexual orientation.
Once the app has completed its search of your social media accounts, you’re presented with a report that includes any potentially offensive posts. From here you can either delete them immediately, or take a screenshot to brag to your friends about how horrible you are, if that’s more your style.
The app is certainly functional, but it is also very much a beta project. Certain innocuous words like “assistant” were singled out as offensive, TechCrunch points out. In addition to perfecting the algorithm, future updates to the app will see the ability to analyze blog posts and visual content.
Clear is currently in beta, and while the app is available in the App Store (and make sure not to confuse it with the to-do list app), signing up places you on a waiting list, so it’ll still be a while before you can scrub your past clean.