Each new generation of high school students thinks they have it worse than the previous generation. The parents disagree, each thinks the other is uncool, and the cosmic ballet continues. However, the current crop of high schoolers just may have claim on the title of most harrowing 4-year journey of all time. Every 16-year old’s awkward developmental experiences could now potentially be Periscoped to an audience of his or her peers in real time. The natural inclination some teenagers have to make life a living hell for other teenagers now has technological opportunities previous generations never imagined. Worst of all, while bullying capabilities now have amazing special effects and pyrotechnics, the tendency to make getting bullied feel like the end of the world has not evolved. Now a new app is making it easier than ever to target teens anonymously, and it’s backed by some musicians who should know better.
Unlike apps like Whisper and Secret, which allowed a user base of mostly adults to reveal information anonymously, the new Blindspot encourages its users to anonymously send texts and images directly to individuals. It is being described, not without justification, as the perfect platform for bullying online. The app’s creators contend that Blindspot is made for friends to send anonymous messages to other friends. In trying to envision a scenario in which that might actually happen, Co.Create only came up with the idea of a group of seniors playing a prank on some juniors, but one of those seniors is secretly dating the sibling of one of those juniors, so he or she Blindspots the prank plans over as a heads-up. Also, it could be used for a game of 21 Questions that turns into an elaborate, cowardly proposal. Perhaps Nicki Minaj and Will.I.Am thought of some more likely or interesting scenarios, though, because they’re among the names of those who’ve invested in the app.
It’s anyone’s guess what potential those two saw in the app–Minaj clearly doesn’t need an app to taunt Miley Cyrus–but its unlikely that they’re happy with the response it’s received so far. Although Blindspot has been downloaded over half a million times, reviewers on Google Play have been generally poor, with over half of them giving it a one-star rating.
While the app’s makers cite users ability to block people, flag threats, and send seriously damning material to the police, these safety measures only demonstrate the danger at hand. By the time a message gets flagged, the person who receives it already knows he or she is being targeted. Considering the app’s gaining notoriety and the fact that Israeli politicians are coming down against it, expect the app to go the way of Secret in the near future and keep quiet forever.
[via Daily Mail]