Here's the Ugly Truth Behind Your School's Online Secret Files
As avid social media users, each of us has probably stumbled upon online Secret Files—accounts where people can anonymously submit their long rants or love confessions. Submissions are reviewed by the page's admins before being released into cyberspace, with each post holding a semblance of gossip about a specific person. Their identities are kept secret, being signed by a pseudonym and the submitter's strand/course and batch.
Several universities, like Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), De La Salle University (DLSU), University of the Philippines (UP), University of Sto. Tomas (UST), and more have their own version of Secret Files pages on Facebook. High schools like Xavier School, Immaculate Conception Academy, Miriam College, La Salle Greenhills, etc. have not only Facebook but Instagram, too—although most are defunct by now.
While some posts are innocuous shoutouts, others chronicle personal matters, publish photos taken without consent, ship people together, and even call out certain students they don't like. Recently, an incident has made a certain Secret Files page come under fire, when a male student openly insulted a female student in a series of degenerative expletives, leading to the victim retaliating with her friends online as well. Stallion, the official student publication of Xavier School, took notice of this and these pages.
"Although initially the ICA-XS Secret Files was meant for entertainment purposes, it slowly degenerated into a cesspool of cyber bullying. Due to the fact that forms of cyber bullying were enacted by them, the site in which people would discuss their so-called 'OTPs' turned into a hate forum for certain individuals," John Young, Features Editor of Stallion, said. "In the end, it seems better for the pages to be shut down, rather than allowing them to continue like this, as being under a guise of anonymity leads to a general abuse of freedom of speech, which in turn has a negative outcome on the general well-being of others."
It's easy to fail at realizing what a huge problem this is. For one thing, people by nature love to gossip. To see some anonymous online drama and reading its juicy details probably adds some spice to our mundane everyday lives. It's understandable why we find entertainment in reading about X's crush on blank or Y's blatant hatred for blank. However, failing to see the issue is where the trouble lies.
It's understandable why we find entertainment in reading about X's crush on blank or Y's blatant hatred for blank. However, failing to see the issue is where the trouble lies.
See, these so-called Secret Files may seem like innocent and harmless outlets at first, maybe even a place where someone can vent or express their emotions while amusing others. But we are forgetting that in this digital age, everything is permanent. Whatever gets posted on those pages will end up haunting us forever.
First, Secret Files allows people to target others. While only the initials of the person of topic are revealed usually, there are occasions when the full name is included in the post. Whoever is called out will probably attract a lot of attention—and not in a good way. Sometimes, even photos are included—published without consent. Thus, Secret Files is an invasion of privacy. It's bad enough if someone announces to the world that they have a crush on you. What if that person explicitly explains why they hate you so much?
This brings us to the next problem: Secret Files leads to rumor-spreading, with false statements or personal secrets circulating online within mere seconds. Someone could get seriously hurt, regardless of whether or not they really did those things specified in the post. It's physically and psychologically harmful to the target's well-being. In short, Secret Files can be cause for libel.
Secret Files also ruins people's relationships. Imagine being paired up or shipped with one of your friends, with pictures of you published without your permission. Not funny, right? What if you were accused of doing something wrong, with some misleading photos thrown into the mix? Not cool, either. Furthermore, the thrill of posting anonymously lends blind courage on the part of others. People nursing secret hurts or holding old grudges may feel like getting revenge—whether they deserve it or not. This leads us to the final problem of Secret Files: It's cyber bullying, plain and simple.
The thrill of posting anonymously lends blind courage on the part of others. People nursing secret hurts or holding old grudges may feel like getting revenge—whether they deserve it or not.
Gone are the days when cyber bullying was merely rude comments or chats with one of your Facebook friends. Now, you can't just report or block whoever violates netiquette. Sure, you can try having certain posts taken down—but by that time, it'll be too late. Everyone would have already seen it. The damage would be done. Actions like these are detrimental to the well-being of others. While some seem like they can just brush it off, remember that you never know who's actually struggling or hurting on the inside.
While Secret Files can be indeed successful in disseminating important information at times, for the most part, they're also harmful, dishonest, and invasive. The guise of anonymity makes people abuse their freedom of speech and do things that they usually won't do—and that certainly spells trouble for the general well-being and mental health of others. It's best to report these outlets that promote hurtful behavior by shutting them down for our own good before more people become victims of its toxic cycle of hatred and cyber bullying.
What're you up to today? Submit your OOTD, fanfic, essay, school project, org event, a pic of your latest hobby, or anything you want to be posted on the Candy Bulletin page!
There was this guy I dated for a while but things didn't turn out well. I was so into him that one night I can't stop thinking about him, I've decided to send his MOM a message on facebook confessing how much I like her son. I wish it ended there but no. I had to make it so emotional, lengthy and detailed like the drama queen I am. Luckily, it went to message request so I'm hoping she hasn't really read it yet. Up until this day it makes me cringe whenever I think about it but hey, whenever it pops in my mind I make myself laugh too so thank you self for being unbelievably shameless and brave when it comes to love. I may age faster because I have made a lot of cringe-worthy moments that I constantly make faces out of embarrassment just reflecting on my antics but I know I've made more hilarious memories than what ifs and somehow that makes the disappointments feel more like assurances that I have gave it my all and I have lived as honest (maybe a little to honest) as I could. #ItsOnlyNatural #CanBnatural
I've been investing in arts, photography, and writing. I've also got back to reading the other day and I finished reading this amazing book entitled 300 Things I Hope by Iain S. Thomas. It is all about the things the author hopes his readers to do in all aspects of life. So, I decided to make a version of it with all of the things I'm hoping for.
I hope I get to see my friends be successful in life. I hope to make a big mural someday. I hope to be a well-known artist like the artists I look up to. I hope to marry the person I am in love with today. I hope to be a little kinder to myself. I hope to see happiness even in the smallest things. I hope to travel the world. I hope to be a good mother and a wife to my future family. I hope to have my artworks displayed in a gallery or an exhibit. I hope to learn more about creative writing. I hope I won't learn how to get tired and give up my passion. I hope I won't get too hard on myself whenever I don't get the results I've been wanting to see in my works. I hope to love myself more even on the days I hate it the most. I hope to lead and empower women; to be their voice and for them to believe in themselves that they can be the woman they look up to. And when I've reached my limit of these things, I hope I won't get tired of reminding myself that my emotions don't make me weak, hence, makes me stronger. These are some of the things I always hope for. What about you? What are you hoping for?
I started fixing myself this quarantine. I mean, I started trying makeup products. As a teen, I'm on my phone almost every hour of the day, scroll on my social media accounts, especially Instagram, and also Pinterest where you get to see nice and pleasing photography by bunch of amazing and beautiful people from different parts of the world. So I started taking my own as well. I did not know that taking your own photo and try to get an Instagramable one is sooooooooo hard, it's exhausting. I do not have alot of space in my room, and I would definitely not do it outside our house because of Corona Virus, and I don't want to be seen by our neighbors HAHA so I have no choice but to make tiis inside my room.
Out of atleast 25 shots, only 2 are a nice picture. While I'm all sweaty and tired, I am proud of what I could do beyond my comfort zone. And this definitely built my self confidence, (and I secret love the compliments I received from both people I know and don't know) It's not my first time visiting in here, Candy! But I'm new to writing my thoughts and experiences, so bare with me HAHA.
Until next time!