Published on March 6, 2014 | by Nikhita Chulani

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Anonymous Apps:
Friend or Foe?

Anonymous apps are increasing in popularity and technology bloggers are suggesting they could be the next big thing, but there are also fears they could lead to cyberbully.

These apps are the opposite to pages like Facebook and Twitter, which are all about building up your digital profile, because everything you do is about being completely off the radar and secret.

Here’s how our top three work:

1. Whisper – Works by letting users type what they are feeling, the app then suggests a picture for them to put as the background to that. Once the image is posted other users can reply and private message people about them.

2. Shortwave – lets users post ‘waves’, which is based on your location. No usernames or sign ups are required and you can’t reply to people’s messages, but app creators, Muneeb Bokhari and Mohammed Gaber say that’s needed for real anonymity. There are subtle ways of replying though…

 

3. Secret – It hasn’t come to the UK yet, but since its release last week the app has blown up in the USA. The idea is to let users share secrets anonymously with people in their social circle. When you sign up everyone who has your phone number is notified you have joined, thus creating a group for you to share your thoughts, but without anyone knowing it is you.

The Issue:

There are fears these apps could lead to more cyberbullying for the people who use them.

Childline told LCC Broadcast that while they welcome the opportunity they give more young people to speak out on what is bothering them, they fear users could face more abuse than on other social media websites.

Alistair tweeted us @LCCBroadcast saying he like these apps because they give people a chance to get things off their chest and hopefully trolls will stay away.

Shelly says she rather speak to people she knows, because she can’t trust strangers not to be rude.

If you’ve been a victim of cyberbullying visit Childline‘s website for online support or call them on 08001111.

LCC Broadcast’s Report:

 

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