What to know about anonymous apps

They might have a fake profile, or use an anonymous question app like Yolo on Snapchat.

What is Yolo on Snapchat?

Yolo allows people to ask questions anonymously. It caused a bit of worry recently, when it became the most downloaded iTunes app in both the UK and America. 

See the Yolo story on Newsround 

But anonymous question apps are nothing new. Another recent one, called Sarahah, also caused problems. 

If you're worried about anonymity in apps like Snapchat, here are some things to remember:

If you download an anonymous messaging app, you are opening yourself up to getting things you don’t want to see or read. 

Not having the app in the first place can make it much harder to receive mean messages. 

So you should always think hard before downloading apps like this.

Think about someone you don’t like very much – now imagine writing down everything you don’t like about them and sending it to them in a message.

Probably not too difficult, right?

But now imagine reading that note out to their face, while other people watch?

It would be really tough, you’d probably feel bad, and people might think you’re mean.

When people don’t have to take responsibility for their actions, it is easier to be mean and more aggressive.

The great thing about face-to-face conversations is that we are more likely to tell how the other person is feeling.

Are they smiling or looking sad? Did we hurt their feelings, even if we didn’t mean to? The way they respond usually lets us know.

Online, it’s much harder to understand these things, so it’s important to be more careful with our words.

Some final things to remember

People who bully others can find it easier online to not consider how it makes you feel

Think before downloading anonymous apps.

You don’t have to take nasty comments or online abuse from strangers.

Block or report any users being nasty or unkind.

You can treat people with respect both online and face-to-face.

Speak to someone you trust if you are upset by anything you see online.

Someone from Childline will help you with any problem if you are feeling sad or worried about anonymous messaging, or if you just need someone to talk to.

See our video on what it means to be anonymous here.

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