In the last few years a number of websites, similar to Anonyming, have been created that offer visitors the chance to share their thoughts and feelings online without the need to indicate their identity to others.
These ‘Anonymous Confessions’ sites, also called ‘Secret Confessions’ sites or ‘True Confessions’ sites, allow people to post anything on their mind to a website without having to be concerned about repercussions. There are many benefits to using these websites, however those posting should do so with caution.
Related Article: Anonymous Social Networks
Anonymity Is Scarce
In a culture that everyday offers fewer opportunities for any privacy, there can be a strong appeal to expression that’s not self-regulated due to the potential for a negative outcome.
Most people have had the experience of posting comments to Facebook or other social networking sites only to delete them because of concern that someone will be offended. This natural check on our expression can feel very limiting in some ways.
In fact we may have very few outlets for our honest opinions. Concerned about the impact our views and expression may have on friends, family, or employers, most people simply avoid discussing thoughts and opinions that are more challenging or controversial. As a result, people often simply don’t have any way to express many of their feelings. This can be a strong reason why anonymous confessions sites are an important resource.
We Need Emotional Outlets
Self-expression is an important part of mental health.
The study of psychology has made it clear that we need to vent; that it’s literally unhealthy to keep strong emotions inside. And yet, most people don’t go to therapy or have any outlet for those emotions. While most have friends and family they can trust with their feelings and thoughts, some things we’d like to express are simply too unpopular, shocking, or negative for even those we love.
This can be where anonymous confessions site come into play. We don’t want to shout our feelings at a wall. An important part of venting is knowing someone is listening. With websites that allow us to express ourselves to an audience, but don’t require that we share our name or email, we are able to have the experience of getting things off our chest with an audience without the possibility that anyone we know will be offended.
While there are many benefits to anonymous confessions sites and social networks, it’s also important that people have a certain amount of caution. While most sites that offer anonymous posting don’t heavily edit their content, there are some things that aren’t allowed on these sites and also some things that visitors simply should not say.
Most websites that offer anonymous posting have guidelines in place that restrict the discussion of certain topics and kinds of information.
It is often against the rules on these sites to post confessions of a felony as that puts the website administrator in a position to feel the need to report a users comments. Topics such as rape, suicide, pedophilia, and murder may be restricted for this reason.
Anonymous Confession Websites
Over the past three years a number of websites have been created that offer the opportunity for mostly unregulated speech. The following are a few of the more prominent.
Websites That Feature Anonymous Confessions
Are Anonymous Confessions Really Secret?
While anonymous confessions sites may not maintain a log of a users name or email, all visits to any website are logged with the hosting service provider and so in some sense anonymity only goes so far. For this reason it is best for people to avoid advocating violence against government officials or any acts of terrorism. It is also suggested, as stated above, that people not confess to felonies.
In this atmosphere of diminishing privacy and NSA data collection, it’s important that people realize that ‘anonymous’ sites are not 100% anonymous. Generally speaking, users can expect their comments to remain anonymous. But it’s the responsibility of the user to avoid saying things that in public terms might lead to a police, FBI, NSA, or secret service investigation.
The Legality of Anonymous Confessions
Anonymous speech is strongly protected under the law. Your speech is protected as private when you speak to your therapist, your lawyer, or a journalist. And online anonymity is also protected. It is intended under the law that you should be able to share information without fear of reprisal, once again given that you aren’t advocating terrorism or admitting to felonies.
Anonymous confessions sites and anonymous social networks can provide the opportunity to speak freely.
Many of these sites and services are specifically meant to allow people a freedom to speak they do not have elsewhere. Unfortunately, with recent revelations about government intelligence gathering it would seem that people no longer can have the expectation that anything they do online is really private.
The Politics of Anonymous Confessions
While it may be the case that your privacy is protected under the law, there can be no protection from powerful government entities that are themselves breaking the law by violating your privacy. Those using anonymous confessions sites should be very cautious about what they express, even when privacy is guaranteed.
As a result of recent revelations about NSA domestic spying there is a growing movement of people who are demanding that their right to privacy online and off be better protected. However, not everyone agrees.
On one side of the debate are those pushing for greater protection of privacy. On the other side are those who believe that we must give intelligence and law enforcement agencies wide latitude in combating threats to our safety.
Regardless of your position on this issue, it’s becoming an important political concern for many and something that will be hotly debated for many years to come.
Have Fun with Caution
Ultimately, assuming you aren’t confessing to anything criminal, anonymous confessions sites can be a very healthy outlet. As more people find these sites and the concept becomes more popular we can expect to see more sites and new and creative ways that they allow for anonymous expression.