A new app called Clear was announced this week that seeks to clean compromising posts from your social media history. It connects with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and searches posts with potentially offensive language using algorithms and an IBM supercomputer.
The app was the brainchild of Ethan Czahor, who was fired from his position with Jeb Bush’s political campaign when some of his old, offensive social media posts were resurfaced by journalists and his opponents. Czahor says the off-color comments he made were part of a comedy routine he was trying, and that he doesn’t want young social media users to get bitten by their pasts the same way he did.
“This could happen to anyone in any field—it doesn’t have to be politics—every millennial is now entering the workforce, and maybe even a senior position, and everything that they’ve said online for the last 10 years is still there, and that’s a new thing for this generation,” Czahor told TIME Magazine.
Clear works by flagging potentially sensitive words and terms, including “gay,” “black,” and “American.” However, it goes a step deeper and also analyzes the sentiment behind posts, measuring which ones are seemingly too negative. Czahor says it’s still a work in progress, but hopefully a more refined version of the app will be available to users soon. But, of course, hopefully you don’t need to use it in the first place.