Chloe Alverson ‘17- Twitter, a popular social media application amongst teenagers, is becoming increasingly cluttered with spam or anonymous (anon) accounts. Through these anonymous and spam accounts, one has the ability to gossip and/or harass without the fear of being caught or facing consequences. These accounts are abusing the power that social media gives them.
Sure, one can tweet to their heart’s desire. However, when someone else is burdened with being mentioned or tweeted at via an anonymous gossip account, it gets personal. This is where the line between human and harassment becomes foggy.
“Some of the stuff they say about people is pretty degrading,” Sierra Kreycik ‘19 said.
Online harassment, commonly referred to as cyberbullying, is defined as “mistreatment of another person online while using an electronic device.” The cyberbullying data from 2015 on cyberbullying.org states that, within the past 30 days, 12.8% of students noted the hurtful remarks made towards them online, and 19.4% of students reported that there were rumors being spread about them online.
These anonymous accounts, such as the plethora of anonymous RHS accounts on Twitter, only encourage harassment. The accounts tear down students and promote gossip. To interact with their followers, accounts include things such as newly introduced Twitter polls, which give followers the option to choose this or that, and allow followers to direct message them gossip or rumors.
Everything submitted by the followers is posted anonymously. Giving those who send in gossip anonymity only makes the situation worse, because no one knows who sent what.
A small handful of people find these accounts to be funny. The majority of students that go to Romeo High view the accounts [those that pertain to the school] highly offensive.
“The people who start these accounts are ignorant and in seek of attention,” Jason Koch ‘16 said. “I’m upset that people are doing this to other people. This can only bring others down, what good does that bring?”
When it comes down to it, such anonymous high school Twitter accounts are not funny. They victimize students on a personal level, calling the students out and spreading rumors to the student body. These accounts are flat-out cyberbullying.
On a more positive note, in a recent turn of events, anonymous compliment accounts are surfacing on Twitter. An anonymous account was created, and is dedicated to complimenting students at RHS. The bio of the account states that the account takes “no rude comments.” Many are praising the user who runs the account.
“I think they help people who need a confidence boost,” Holly Robbins ‘18 said.
Compliment accounts were created in hopes of making up for the negativity that the rude accounts spread. They aim to produce positivity, and take the place of the accounts that poke fun at others. These positive accounts prove that a little positivity can go a long way.