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The Dark Side of Kiwi App: Bullies and Trolls Galore

Kiwi is an app which predominantly took off in Spain, Brazil and Portugal but is slowly moving over to other areas, including us in the UK.

Now, we placed this app in the Top Apps of the Month  for June and we thought it was a great app which allowed you to be inspiring to others, to get to know your friends on a more personal level and actually spark conversations.

However, within a few days of being on Kiwi I began to see a downside to this social app.

The idea of the app is to ask your friends, or strangers, any question you like. You can do this including your picture or you can do it anonymously - this is where I believe that the Kiwi developers have made a big, big mistake.

There is something about this anonymity that is attracting very young people to the app. Why? Because they can speak to strangers, or friends, with comments ranging from inappropriate questions to pure evil statements and no-one can tell them off for it. 

But this is worrying because these young people are some of the most creative people we have in society, but they're also the most impressionable. 

This app is completely open to sickos and bullies and aimed at young people who might believe them. Why would you do this Kiwi, why?

So let me run you through Kiwi. 

When it’s not hidden, a question looks like this:

When someone hides their name, it comes up with “someone wants to know…” instead. This was taken from my account by the way folks, and it's pretty nasty... be warned, I tried my best to reply without rising to the harsh words, but apparently I would have been better off not biting back.

Eerie, eh? Who knows who this person is and why they hate me?

What will it be next time Kiwi? Will it be a 60 year old man asking if an underage girl has already enjoyed…you know. Or will it be a poor child getting abuse on his size from his fellow schoolmates? 

I only have to go onto the "discover page" within the app to see what other kind of abuse takes place.

I genuinely am starting to feel like it was an app created for bullies and abusers.

Some top questions I saw in my initial browse through:

“Get with me?”
“Opinion on _________ in your year?”
“Why were you with _______ when you don’t like her?”
 and “Good looking boys in 10KS?” - if that’s not setting someone up for a Burn Book type scandal I don’t know what is.

There’s always darkness out there on the web, but the only comfort I can find is that perhaps I am just too old for these guys – maybe I’m missing something. They’re all 11-15 year olds after all. Maybe my answers confused them.

It seems like most these kids are sticking up for themselves and when they do it well, they get tonnes of likes on their post.

I do worry about the level of harassment that doesn’t get a reply and subsequently doesn’t see the light of Kiwi day. But I suppose that could be happening anywhere on the internet these days.

Trolls and bullies alike, will always exist. I just hope that as parents/adults – we can be responsible for our children and make sure that they don’t believe everything idiots say on the internet. 

So just be wise to these apps and crazes and make sure you know that your kids know they're awesome.

Megan Herdson
Megan is a country girl who moved to the city with some big dreams. She is studying her MA in Creative Writing whilst also managing an American Football Team.  She loves her blog and wants nothing more than to have her words read. That and to win the Championship, obviously. Follow her @MeganAtSMF

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The Dark Side of Kiwi App: Bullies and Trolls Galore Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, July 06, 2015 Rating: 5
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