The Student News Site of Taipei American School




Ask me a question…not


For those of you unfamiliar with, it’s a social Q&A website where questions are, for the most part, asked anonymously. And the controversial element to this website comes from this anonymity.
I have to admit, online anonymity does have its positive aspects. It allows the possibility of giving or receiving unbiased opinions.
But we’re talking about, a place where bored teenagers find refuge from adult supervision.
Instead of intellectual commentary, junk is what litters these pages, such as “Do you like big ducks?” or comments such as “u supa hot.” Intellectual? I think not. What kind of serious bias could be involved with these questions? Answering them only serves to make you appear equally immature.
Sure, you can argue that such questions are harmless, and you would be right. But the reality is, in terms of, the dark side of anonymity simply overpowers any of its positives.
According Mr Franklin, “Anonymity, in this case, absolves the author of personal responsibility, which some take as license to make crass comments seemingly without consequence.” completely proves his point. The website has turned into a haven for adolescent bullies. In England, 14-year-old Hannah Smith committed suicide to escape from being attacked by malicious anonymous commenters this year. TAS, too, has had quite a few incidents of misuse. This is why is banned at school today.
Mr Franklin says, “If we can’t stand behind the words we say, then we probably need to evaluate the language we’re using.”

Picture 25.jpgVirtual hate: has become a tool for cyberbullies to leave mean and offensive comments anonymously on other users’ pages.

I believe this applies to anonymous compliments as well. Instead of hiding behind the wall of anonymity, you should work on those social skills and learn to express personal opinions, good or bad, face to face.

Expressing yourself publicly takes courage. I know that this makes me sound like I’m preaching the Honor Code, but I believe true courage will get you far in life–unless you really plan to spend yours all alone, asking pointless questions on a pointless website.

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