New accounts facilitate bullying

New accounts facilitate bullying

Influenced by the popular Facebook confession group, Diamond Bar High School “confession pages” are starting to appear on Instagram, featuring  confessions anonymously  posted. The problem with these new accounts lies in them being completely unmonitored and their toxicity.

These “confession pages” are similar to the Facebook pages in that they hold the same level of anonymity. However, they lack the restrictions and barriers of an organized platform, such as that of the Facebook group. Since the students can choose to submit their confessions anonymously, allowing  them to talk freely about whatever they wish without worrying about their reputation being damaged or facing any consequences. 

This has led to issues with the accounts; although there are a fair amount of harmless confessions, such as confessing a crush or teasing someone, there are others that can only be described as bullying. 

During school election week, there was an outpour of demeaning posts that seemed to have the sole purpose of calling out almost every candidate and winner for running under superficial reasons, such as “clout” or popularity. Others called them out for spamming social media with announcements of their campaign.

Unexpectedly, these confessions took a turn for the worse once the election week ended. There were numerous reports of sexual harassment, but were quickly removed  as they were met with a barrage of negativity. Nevertheless, the fact that they were even posted meant that rumors were bound to circulate from those who did see the  comments.

As much as the blame can be put on the people who submitted the comments, the site’s anonymous owners are equally responsible for  advocating that type of behavior by actively posting these confessions. Compared to the Facebook group, which seems to filter out inappropriate confessions and harmful comments, the Instagram accounts have no qualms about posting cruel commentary. 

It might be too much to hope  that the accounts would start showing  moderation and accountability from the owners. 

Yet, anonymous or not, there must be something done to fix the increasing toxicity of every post. The Instagram confession pages should still be allowed to stay up as long as harmful subjects, such as bullying and slander, are avoided. If not, the obvious solution seems to be to remove the accounts, as the current posts could be extremely harmful to many.

But what might be  the best way to resolve this problem is for everyone to boycott the accounts and for DBHS students  to unfollow them.

This would be an ideal solution even if the deletion of the accounts was available, as the sudden removal of these confession accounts would only highlight them further, creating unnecessary gossip and rumors. Taking down the accounts would have little positive impact and would not solve the problem.

However, this solution would only work if the majority of the people interacting with the accounts ignored them. If people continue to comment, like, and submit new confessions, the account managers would be fueled to keep the account running. If this happens and the confessions continue to cross the line, it may be possible to appeal to Instagram, as their company policy states that accounts with intent to bully or harass should be reported and removed.