Social Media tends to lean towards users promoting themselves by showing off with pictures, videos, and content that makes their lives look interesting and engaging to other users, however there is growing popularity for apps and sites that allow users to share content while remaining anonymous. There are a couple of reasons that these apps have become popular. First, some of these apps allow users to share things that might be personal or difficult to talk about without having to be identified as the person who is going through that specific situation. This allows other users to reach out in support and gives the users the ability to talk about something difficult with others, however this doesn’t always go as planned. Many times this anonymous sharing allows other users to reply anonymously as well, which means that users looking for comfort and support might still find themselves on the other side of online attacks or harassment.
Secondly, the anonymity of these apps allows users to share information that might get them into trouble without being in fear of facing those consequences. Users post mean, hurtful, or embarrassing things about others, spread rumors and false accusations, or try to create issues between others by posting material that is intended to look like it was posted by another individual. These types of issues typically manifest in smaller, tight-knit settings like schools, so many students are exposed to this type of behavior.
Finally, anonymous sharing has become a platform for hate speech, allowing users to make comments about religion, race, gender, and other sensitive topics in a way that will upset and anger people without the user having fear of being identified as a person with these beliefs. The ability to propagate hateful belief systems online without having to answer for them allows this ideology to spread without consequence, when often comments that are made would result in punishment in a structured setting if the user was identified.