I am writing to Apple, Samsung, to the Facebook creator, and to any other creator of an anonymous app such as Yik Yak or Whisper. Do you really think that second chances are a good idea? Think about it; really think about it. In giving a cyberbully or a troll a second chance, you are giving them a second chance to end someone’s life; you are giving them a second chance to kill someone’s will to live. As of right now, in this very moment, how many second chances have you given? Possibly thousands or millions. In this instance, ask yourself how many of those second chances turned around and harassed and hurt someone to the point where that person wanted to hurt themselves. For those of you who do not know what a troll is, listen to Shane Koyczan’s audible poem "Troll".
After listening to “Troll”, answer me this, do you still think that it’s not important. Do you really think that people are going to learn their lesson by being “reported”. I believe that your report button should be taken one step farther. If an account is reported with a legitimate reason, such as cyber bullying or trolling, then not only should it be shut down, but that IP address should not be allowed to create a new account. Why are you going to allow someone to create a new account, or another fake account, only to use it to harm someone else. All those second chances you have given, all those lives lost, that’s on you, you can’t take that back.
Will screen names really fix anything? Think about it. It’s a start, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also a flaw. Someone can say their screen name is Jessica when their real name is Jane. It still does not fix anything. I respect that you are taking a stance on the anonymity issue of your apps. Unfortunately, that will not be enough. That just opens up a whole new opportunity to make a fake accounts to troll and cyber bully one another. The amount of fake accounts online is alarming. I don’t understand why it is even possible to have duplicate and fake accounts. Again, you should be using people’s IP address to track and monitor their online activity. People should not be able to have more than one account. When someone is given an anonymous account, they often use it to harm others. There are very few cases where anyone really benefits from an anonymous account.
“20% of kids cyberbullied think about suicide, and 1 in 10 attempt it. 4500 kids commit suicide each year” according to The CyberBully Hotline. There is a lot more damage done to kids than the adults realize. When a someone reports another user as harassment or bullying, it should be taken into consideration and not brushed aside with the excuse “kids will be kids”. That phrase is wrong in multiple ways. As a kid myself, only sixteen years old, i can say i have never created a fake account to bully and harass another kid, i have never wanted to and i never will. I understand how wrong that is so when someone says “kids will be kids,” I call bull. These kids know exactly what they are doing, and the sad thing is, they have no shame in doing so. Most bullies are created through a harsh cycle. One person is bullied and they want to get revenge or they want someone else to feel the way they do so they begin to bully someone else, pushing that person over the edge. It is a harsh cycle that, unfortunately, never ends. There is no magical cure for bullies, there is only knowing the difference between right and wrong and not following the cycle. It is your choice and your choice alone if you want to bully someone. It is also much easier to bully and harass and mentally drain someone through a computer screen instead of face to face. When you are bullying someone over social media, you feel powerful and untouchable because there’s not really anything anyone can do. Sure, you can be reported, but until these apps take reports seriously, that isn’t going to fix anything. Bullies often push other people over the edge, draining someone of their will to live.
As you can see from my previously stated argument, anonymous should be banned, and in the least, you, being the creators, should consider taking your “report” button one step further and deactivating accounts and putting a block on new accounts from the IP addresses reported.