The Problem With Anonymity on Social Media

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The Problem With Anonymity on Social Media

Holt High School goes on Lockdown due to social media abuse.

Holt High School goes on Lockdown due to social media abuse.

Paige Pieper

Holt High School goes on Lockdown due to social media abuse.

Paige Pieper

Paige Pieper

Holt High School goes on Lockdown due to social media abuse.

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These days almost everyone has some form of social media. Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter being some of the most popular ones. While these apps can be a fun way to connect with people and post about cool things, the ability to go anonymous on almost all social media apps and websites is a huge problem.

The post causing the lockdown on May 21, 2019 was started on a social media app called Snapchat. Instead of having posts, Snapchat has “Stories”. These stories last twenty-four hours and the person who posts them can save them to be shared again later. Snapchat can have other websites linked in these stories, including the anonymous YOLO Q&A app. YOLO can be connected to Snapchat and used to ask questions and receive anonymous responses.

Using social media, someone responded to a story saying “I think ur a nice person and I want you to be safe so please leave the school rn because the halls are gonna be a mess at 9:20.” The message was widely spread between students and was reported to administration causing a school lockdown at around 9:18. For nearly three hours, students were kept in classrooms while their parents were told to go to Heartland Park if they wanted more information or to keep an eye out for the emails and social media posts the school would be making with updates on the situation. This decision was based on the safety of everyone inside the building.

Being able to go anonymous on the internet is a problem that needs to be stopped as much as possible. Using apps like YOLO, allow people to be able to say whatever they want and expect no consequence. The internet should not be a place for people to be able to go unnamed and say whatever they want.

An easy way to stop giving people a platform to spread awful messages is to stop using apps like YOLO or other apps that allow people to go unidentified when sending messages. Keeping your social medias private and only having close friends and family follow is helpful as well. Keeping your personal information off the internet as much as you can is important too, so that it can not be spread and given to other people you do not know.

Social media is an easy way to spread rumors and not know where they started from. An important thing to know from this lockdown is that there were no weapons found and no one was arrested. Everyone acted responsibly, professionally and the authorities number one goal was to keep everyone safe.

Do not take part in spreading rumors, make sure any information you take in is from a reliable source. Social media can be used for more good than bad if we all do our part to use it responsibly.

Aside from social media, students have voiced how they are feeling after the lockdown. “I feel like it was handled extremely well by all parties involved. However, while we were on lockdown, it was rough for both students and staff,” Kaia Fischer said. “Mr. Milhous shared that he had 2000 steps during the course of the lockdown in the space the size of a small costume closet. I know a lot of students were freaking out because of the rumors flying everywhere, but today people are less anxious today in general. However, I am more anxious today than yesterday because of the rumors still flying around.”

“That whole thing was emotionally draining. We didn’t know what was going on and there were just rumors flying everywhere and then when the tornado sirens went off, that just made the whole day even worse,”  Macauley Miller said. “Today, I’m a bit more calm, but I’m tired.”

“I still feel a little iffy, but I’m here and I’m doing my school work so it’s not that bad,” Javon Hamilton said.

To end on a lighter note, a teacher received this email the day after the lockdown: “I first wanted to thank you for yesterday. My daughter felt very calm and safe. I know this was because of you and the way you handled the situation. I can’t even imagine what it was like- we practice for it and talk about it, but never really think it will happen.”