'Secret Admirer' or Cyber Bully?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Since the birth of social media on the Internet, the ability to remain almost completely anonymous has been a blessing and a curse. Users of social media can chat and flirt but they can also bully and harass.

A recent trend in social media is to create “Secret Admirer” groups based around college campuses. These groups exist, in theory, to send anonymous messages to crushes.

Since “Kirkwood Secret Admirer” was founded on March 28, over 1,600 Facebook members have liked the page and nearly 400 secret messages have been posted.

However, despite being devoted to secret crushes, many of the messages posted on the Kirkwood page have been overtly sexual, inappropriate, spiteful or unabashedly mean. Students have sent in submissions harassing specific students or groups about sexual matters, weight or even something as seemingly innocuous as vehicle choice.

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