Open Secrets: The New Wave Of Anonymous Social Networks Is Neither New Nor Anonymous.

Slate › Lily Hay Newman

There’s a lot of news about Whisper, Secret, and other anonymous social networks lately. Whisper has been around in various forms since March 2012 but started gaining momentum when it went free in February, Yik Yak started late last year, and Secret went live in the App Store at the end of January. Together they have prompted soul-searching questions about how much weed the employees of Rap Genius smoke and whether or not Gwyneth Paltrow is having an affair. More importantly, their spike in popularity raises questions about security, cyberbullying, and harassment.

The real secret about all of these apps, though, is that they’re nothing new. They’re a repackaged version of the anonymous social channels that already existed on the Internet. What’s more—and you probably could have guessed this part—they’re not even secret.