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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this aptly named application lets users anonymously post "secrets" on a "wall" on Facebook. This site attracts the same raunchy comments found scrawled on real stalls, with the potential for embarrassment limited only by the reach of the Internet.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
BATHROOM WALL FOR FACEBOOK is the brainchild of Kudos Media, the same company behind Rate Me (a.k.a. Hot or Not), where players rate each other's photos on a scale of one to ten. Like the name suggests, Bathroom Wall is a public space where people can post anything they want. According to Kudos, it's the most popular anonymous Facebook app, with almost 150,000 users. Bathroom Wall installs with a couple of clicks and appears as a link on the user's profile. To ensure anonymity, new members are encouraged to invite at least 10 Facebook friends to join. Those friends in turn must invite 10 friends of their own and so on. Posted "secrets" quickly turn into ugly exchanges. The app's chatroom is friendlier but even raunchier in content.
Is it any good?
One shudders to imagine what Bathroom Wall was like before Facebook threatened to close it down for hate talk. It could be argued that the content is the fault of the users, but most of the blame must lie with the app's adult creator. Is it any wonder most kids use this intentionally trashy tool to belittle rather than befriend? Shame on Lee Kuo for capitalizing on adolescent insecurities while hiding behind his own anonymous Facebook profile. What's next? An application called Locker Room?
Online interaction: Kids learn they can badmouth friends with apparent impunity. A few use Bathroom Wall for other purposes, such as role playing or posting short fiction, but the latter are mostly sex stories.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about all the reasons this Facebook tool should be avoided. Its chief aim -- to promote gossip -- is the least of it. The twisted kicker: users are forced to invite the very Facebook “friends” who will humiliate them. As unsavory as this app is, it’s a good springboard for discussing friendship. What are the differences between real pals and pretenders? How does the Internet blur the line even further? Kids need to be reminded that what goes around comes around; just as in real life, the digital backstabbers are likely to be exposed eventually. The big difference is that unlike in real life, where walls can be painted over, Bathroom Wall preserves ugly sentiments in a digital footprint that can haunt the owner for years to come. Read our Social Network Tips for more guidance.
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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.