Whisper App: Share Your Secrets Anonymously From Your iPhone
Have you heard of PostSecret? PostSecret is, in essence, a confessional for those who don’t mind sending their secrets anonymously to some guy who then posts a select few of them on his Web site.
PostSecret launched an app not too long ago that allowed users to share their secrets from their iPhones, and it was instantly a huge success with tons of users. However, some material posted on the app was found to be abusive, and so three short months after the app launched it was closed.
Well, some new company came along and decided it didn’t give a damn about abusive content once it realized it could profit off of anonymous secret sharing.
The new app, made by someone who is not associated with PostSecret or its creator Frank Warren, is called Whisper. Basically it works the same as PostSecret, only in app form: You send secrets in on little digital post cards for all to read and see.
Posting secrets is free, but if you want to talk to the secret holders, you’ll have to pay a subscription fee. And there it is, folks – monetizing people’s dirty laundry has begun.
When PostSecret launched its app for three months, the numbers were staggering. Millions of secrets were shared, some poignant and some whimsical, and Warren himself calls the content that was shared “moving and deep.” But eventually, abusive, false secrets slandering other people began to pop up, and a few dozen jerks ruined it for everyone who was using the app legitimately. This is kind of the way of the world, I guess, which is super irritating. I’m a good person – why don’t I have the same control over stuff that the bad people do?
Whatever, moving on! Whisper says that its “fixed” this problem by simply including a flagging feature in its own application. Why didn’t Warren do that, you ask? Because he knew that wasn’t good enough.
The app has taken off on college and high school campuses nationwide, and as part of that taking off, it’s also caused an ass-ton of trouble. It’s sparked fights in Florida and New York with several other alleged reports coming in from other parts of the US. And Whisper has only been online for a few months.
Warren himself has some advice for these Whisper folks. I’m paraphrasing, of course, but basically he told them they’re stupid for letting strangers share secrets anonymously only to let them communicate privately if they pay for it.
Let’s be honest here: Adults aren’t going to be using this app. It’s going to be angsty teenagers who feel bad because they had sex with their sister’s boyfriend’s best friend or whatever. It’s going to be kids sharing intimate, private details, and opening up communication between these people is just… dumb. If someone has a problem with someone else, then they need to man up and talk to them. That’s called growing. Stupid crap like this keeps people from really talking stuff out and causes fights instead.
Don’t get me wrong. I think sharing secrets with other people can be really therapeutic, and I don’t doubt that some of the secrets that we’re going to see are going to have great intentions and won’t harm anyone (but may teach someone something). But I don’t think that fraction of the secrets justifies allowing fights to break out because you want to make a few bucks off of someone’s private details.