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Final Cyber Bullying Comic

Illustration by Contributor Jessica Arnold

By Opinions Editor James Wendt

With anonymous accounts taking over Twitter and capturing teenage intrigue, it is time to reevaluate the trend of anonymous social media accounts. Anonymity is nothing new, but using the computer as a shield makes it easier than ever to log onto social media and meddle in the lives of others.

To name a few, there are accounts that publish confessionals one would hesitate to share with a priest, parking jobs seemingly done by a blindfolded driver, and cheeky compliments.

One particularly grotesque account that has recently been shut down revolved around relationship gossip and encouraged users to secretly message “hookups” for the creator to anonymously Tweet. Classy? Hardly.

Perverse, inappropriate accounts like this one and others are as confusing as they are revealing. Primarily, it provides insight to the fact that people like being scumbags online just as much as they do in real life. That a person has the motive to create such exploitive profiles is concerning, but that there are users who feed it with ammunition to fire at their fellow human beings is also troublesome. It’s cyber bullying at its ugliest.

These profiles also reveal our generation’s obsession with anonymity and popularity. Those who create such profiles, lull themselves into a false sense of invincibility and immunity from consequences. Simply put, the poster believes that he is not responsible for what he posts, and this is a foolish belief. Furthermore, it illustrates the intent of the user to achieve some clouded, murky sense of popularity. Through more traffic, the user has gained notoriety, and a misguided sense of self-importance.

Not only that, but the creation, continued use, and support of such profiles have a societal impact that might not necessarily be the intention of those running and contributing to them. One of these effects is the reinforcement of gender roles and stereotypes. On the now-defunct Husky Hookups, when an individual sent, and then the creator posted, a Tweet that says something like, “[Girl’s name] and the whole school” or “[Boy’s name] and the entire freshman class,” these comments produce consequences. It reinforces the slut-shaming/stud glorification practiced by far too many. The glorification of boys “slaying” and damnation of girls “whoring around” is enforced by such offensive profiles. They depict girls as sluts and boys as jerks— or worse, as studs.

Another danger of anonymous accounts is that they cause drama. On Huskie Hookups, Twitter fights ensued about the anonymous information shared. There was little regard for how information was received and how it would impact the subject of the posts. Inevitably, this leads to heated emotions on and off the web. This snowball effect is caused by all anonymous profiles.

I urge you to remember that there are consequences to what is posted online. People can get hurt from what others publish. An intended practical joke can be a perceived personal attack or act as a general detriment to society. So, stop creating disgusting profiles and stop sending messages to be anonymously posted. Above all, consider others and grow up.

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Hiding behind the computer screen