Authorities investigating the Instagram threat that led to last Monday's lockdown and early dismissal at Carlsbad High School say they are not yet ready to name a suspect. But they do believe they have figured out both the reason for — and the technology behind — the threat. The reason: a pretty heavy test in Mr. Bellweather's 11th-grade history class. The technology: BombScare!, a new app that allows users to deliver threats of violence across a variety of social media platforms.
"We think BombScare! is the future of school-based terrorism," says the app's inventor, Wayne Dogood of Boom! Technologies, Inc. "Before now, students and other people eager to interrupt the school day with the prospect of horrific bloodshed had to worry about making sure their threat was seen and/or heard on social media. What if the school wasn't monitoring its Twitter account? What if an Instagram post got buried in a deluge of kitten pics? But with BombScare!, a single threat can be posted on every major platform, or, if you prefer, on just one. It's completely customizable in terms of reach, threat level, even the specifics of the violence that is threatened. Sometimes, a Vine of you slapping a magazine into an assault rifle sends just the right message. Other times, you're better served with an Instagram shot of a pile of gopher skulls. Or maybe just an ominous Tweet. We get that."
So far, BombScare! has been used mostly by unprepared test-takers and violent sociopaths bent on the destruction of their peers and the disruption of civilized society. But recent data suggests that it may be gaining in popularity among other youth sectors. "Last week in Riverside, California," says Dogood, "senior Becky Teasdale used BombScare! to shut down Matheson High just before lunch. Later, investigators learned that she had just found out that good-looking classmate Tim Jenkins was planning on taking total slutbag Susie Bright to Jack In The Box to ask her to prom. She needed time to plan an intervention, and BombScare! gave her that time."