Have you ever wanted to reveal your deepest secrets for the entire world to see, and still do it anonymously? Well, here’s an app to help you with that!
The ‘Secret’ app, created by two former Google engineers, David Byttow and Chrys Bader-Wechseler, enables a person to anonymously post secrets online. The app is only available for Apple’s iOS.
How it works:
First, the app needs to be downloaded and the user’s phone number is entered. Once this is done, the user can begin looking through all the secrets posted by people nearby as well as around the country. They can also view their friend’s secrets!
The next step is to verify one’s phone number and email address. After doing this, a user can post new secrets on the app, as well as ‘like’ and comment on other people’s secrets too.
There have been apps for this purpose which include features like searching by topic, password protection for user secrets, organized secrets, voting posts up or down, and much more.
But Secret as an app is more compact, with the main aspect being the lack of a search option. Secret posts appear and a user can keep scrolling through them. However, the anonymity is retained even if a user’s friend posts. This means that if the user views a post that has been sent by someone on his/her contact list, the post would say “Friend.” A similar consequence follows for posts by a “Friend of Friend.” This quality creates an aura of mystery on who the post-er could possibly be, which makes the app even more popular.
Other absences in the app are the facility of messaging or the need for a username. Surprisingly this causes enhanced privacy, since all those who post their secrets are given an avatar, like an emoticon. This changes for every secret that the user comments on. However, the user who posts the secret will appear as a blue crown in the comments section, which enables communication with him/her.
It is to be noted, that the app in actuality is not anonymous, in the true sense of the word. The system still contains the user’s email address and phone number, which are attached to the user’s account. If a user wants to delete a post, they can “unlink” the required posts from their account. The posted secret, however, will not go off the app unless it is manually deleted in the feed.
Though the other apps of this kind may have wider and young audiences, Secret has gained the fancy of the technology enthusiasts. The secrets posted by the tech community are often those attacking startup founders, tech executives, and venture capitalists.
Critics of the app are not far behind. There have been many questions raised on how ethical it is to give a post anonymity to such an extent that it does not stop the poster from revealing extremely distasteful and malicious secrets. People said the app was designed to give negative behaviour encouragement, and disappointing others in the process. There have also been fears of this app being used for the purpose of bullying.
However, the Secret app is alert to negative posts. Any ‘secret’ typed that seems defamatory is given a warning by the app, that says, “Defamatory, offensive, or mean-spirited [secrets] are against the community guidelines and can be flagged/removed”. Though the app does not have any staff or moderators, they are relatively confident that this cyber-bullying will not be a problem they will have to overcome on a large scale.
For now, you can reveal your Secret.