FADE app reflects positive, negative aspects of campus community

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Aaron Weissman, junior media arts major, discusses the pros and cons of the new social media application FADE. Photo credit: Nick Bragg

A new social media app can be found on the smartphones of many Chico State students. It is called FADE, and it is stirring up quite a storm on college campuses nationwide.

The free app consists of a collection of pictures and text snips from all of those that download it in the same area. It is targeted toward college communities.

The app can have an impact on the university’s image, said Aaron Weissman, junior media arts major.

“FADE is the place to look if you want to be simultaneously proud and disgusted by your school’s party scene,” Weissman said.

According to the app’s website, it started out as a free way for students to voice their opinions, meet new people and share memories. Daniel Awana, first-year computer science major, believes that the app can have good and bad impacts.

“It’s basically a social playground, and there are negative and positive aspects associated with it,” Awana said.

While FADE’s slogan is “nothing lasts forever,” any student that has a smartphone can screenshot a photo and keep it before it fades away.

According to Weissman, the app has evolved into a hatred-fueled forum where users are constantly bashing other users. FADE also includes a sidebar that separates all of the posts by school, which fuels rivalry and competition.

Students may also be unaware of who is actually looking at their photos. Anyone can make a FADE account and start lurking, including police. Six FADE users were targeted in a undercover sting operation in October, resulting in arrests and multiple charges.

“You need to be superconscientious when you’re going to broadcast anything to as large of an audience that FADE reaches,” Weissman said. “Unless you are the person throwing a party, or it’s your house, then you have no right to put someone’s address on FADE.”

The app can be used in positive ways as well.

FADE creates a space for students to offer useful information about classes, sell textbooks and collaborate. Local artists can promote their work, whether it be glass-blowing, music or any other art form.

“It presents students with the opportunity for a certain degree of marketing,” Weissman said.

Since it’s start, the app has spread to more than 28 schools and has gained a large following. FADE is not going anywhere, so whether it is used positively or negatively is up to the participants.

Nick Bragg can be reached at [email protected] or @Nick981 on Twitter.