Parents who are up to speed on social media know that you need to look no further than Ask.fm to know that anonymous teen internet forums are a very risky idea. Among the teenage crowd, anonymity can and often does lead to cyberbullying and harassment. The victims’ self esteem can suffer greatly, and it can be nearly impossible to track down the bully even if the incident is reported. Ask.fm has been linked to nine suicides in the last year.
A newcomer to the social media scene is going to give it a shot. The Spill is a new website where teens aged 12 – 17 can anonymously share their stories or multimedia, and has a fully anonymous forum where young users can speak their mind or get advice or support. According to the website:
“The SPILL was made for you and the best thing about this site is that no one knows who you are so feel free to express yourselves and share what’s on your mind. There are several topics to choose from. Please make sure you register if you’d like to participate.”
The company’s press release gives some insight into why the company thinks the time is right for a new anonymous teen internet forum:
“It is important to have an outlet for teenagers to figuratively spill their guts. Venting their thoughts, feelings and emotions and discussing their views and opinions to their peers allows them to see that they are not alone. When teens are free to be themselves, they will exude positivity. Once their attitude changes chances are they will become a couple steps closer to accomplishing their personal goals and dreams.”
If the site takes off, I think the admins are going to be doing a lot of banning.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.