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YOLO: Anonymous Questions
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
YOLO – ANONYMOUS QUESTIONS is built as an add-on to Snapchat -- and in fact, can't work without Snapchat). Users must already have Snapchat on their devices, and then users can link the two. Once the apps are linked, users tap a button that says “send me anonymous questions.” This opens Snapchat, where users can post the request to their Snapchat story or send to a group of friends – with or without photos. When subscribers respond to these requests, their questions are tracked within Yolo: Anonymous Questions, and recipients can decide whether to respond to them publicly or privately.
Is it any good?
There's so little to this app, it's not really an individual product, and it rests on the familiar, problematic premise -- anonymous feedback. It's entirely non-functional without Snapchat, and upon downloading and opening it, all you'll see on your phone is a blank screen with a single button on it that opens Snapchat.
Aside from giving you a pre-made “send me anonymous questions” sign and tracking the responses, Yolo: Anonymous Questions doesn't do a heck of a lot. Anonymity appears to be the only change it offers when it comes to Snapchat's existing communication, which begs the question: How often is anonymity used for good, especially among kids? Clearly, the app's potential to facilitate mean, hurtful behavior is high. The only alteration it makes to the anonymous feedback trend is letting recipients view messages privately and choose whether to make their responses public. The app relies heavily on Snapchat's built in filters and settings; the only security within the app itself is the ability to block users, and it's uncertain how effective that alone is in stopping online harassment. All told, and despite its sudden school yard popularity, Yolo: Anonymous Questions is a more or less featureless app that doesn't add anything meaningful to Snapchat and is more likely to add stress than substance to your kid's online life.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about anonymous online interactions in apps like YOLO: Anonymous Questions. What are the risks of anonymous communication? When might anonymity be appropriate?
Think about the consequences of asking friends (and strangers) for personal feedback. Are you prepared to handle negative questions and comments?
Discuss what counts as an appropriate online question or response. What kinds of questions are unkind or too personal to ask? What responses might be meant well but make a person uncomfortable?
For kids who love social networking
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.