Posts Tagged ‘bullying technology’

The newest app Secret: the bully’s playground

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Name-Calling in the Virtual Playground
by Nick Bilton, New York Times, March 23, 2014

Silicon Valley sometimes feels like high school. It has its alpha types and its outcasts, its bullies and its bullied.

That, anyway, is one takeaway from the recent flap over Secret, a six-week-old social app that connects people anonymously. Secret has apparently put the Valley in touch with its inner 10th grader and become a cyber-schoolyard for all manner of gossips and trolls inside the technology industry. The blowback has been swift.

Veronica Belmont, a video host and technology writer, promptly hung up on the app. “Deleted the app Secret,” Ms. Belmont wrote in early February.

Aaron Durand, a photographer, soon followed. “It’s not me, it’s you,” Mr. Durand tweeted a few days later. Many others followed suit.

“I don’t need that kind of hate in my life,” one entrepreneur told me. “It’s like high school all over again.”

If this is what happens in the temples of American technology, think what will happen when Secret and similar apps hit real high schools and middle schools. Parents, you have been warned.

The founders of Secret, Chrys Bader-Wechseler and David Byttow, told me that they saw the potential pitfalls and were trying to find ways to prevent cyberbullying over their app before it finds its way to youngsters. They said Secret was supposed to help people, not hurt them.



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