With so many micro-blogging apps such as Twitter, Yik Yak and Secret, the issue of cyberbullying has been a growing problem across the country. Most of these apps don't have an age restriction, and since these platforms are reaching middle-schoolers, the founders have been pressured to address the problem of kids getting picked on.
Secret is a seven-week-old app that lets users to post anonymous messages into a live feed. It’s basically Twitter for people who want to say what's on their mind, but keep their identities hidden. While people can feel free to post funny or embarassing things, it's also an opportunity for anyone to post shit talking about other people without having to face any real consequences. It's a recipe for cyberbullying, but Secret co-founder, David Byttow doesn’t think so.
“We don’t see very much of that, if any,” Byttow told TechCrunch.
“Secret is naturally protected from cyberbullying because unlike Whisper, PostSecret, or Ask.fm, Secret isn’t a public feed where anyone can post or reply," he continues. "On Secret, you only get posts from your community or that your community already interacted with. Byttow emphasized that the Secret users often share calls for help, and the community frequently rallies to support them.”
While that may be true, Secret users might disagree. A Secret user can see if a "secret" was written by someone on their phone's contact list: so if they only have 20 people in their contacts, it's just a matter of elimination until they can find out who posted it.
Byttow talks about implementing age restrictions, providing a “suicide prevention resource” and adding pop ups with dialog explaining “that defamatory and mean posts are against its community guidelines and may be flagged or removed if a post includes a proper name."
Only time will tell if these measure will make a difference in the growing cyberbully epidemic. Byttow is looking to launch internationally in a few months and is working on an Android version.