‘Honest Box’ encouraging cyberbullying?

You've probably seen mentions of JuicyCampus.com, which has gotten some national attention. I've also blogged about "Honesty Box," which – as a widget social networkers can put on their profiles – is in effect a mini JuicyCampus (see this about the latter). These are phenomena of the participatory Web, on which too many people have a distorted sense of their free-speech rights that goes something like "I can say anything nasty I want about anybody (which is not what the First Amendment is about) because I'm anonymous (which they aren't, truly). Having said that, no social site or anything on the user-driven Web is all good or all bad, but some sites and services – such as JuicyCampus and Honesty Box – do seem to be more negative than neutral, more conducive to the darkside of human nature. The ReallyWorried blog is campaigning to get Facebook to delete the Honesty Box widget from its lineup of these little software applications. Three interesting points are made among the comments underneath the blogger's post: 1) Honesty Box is an opt-in widget users can choose not to have on their profiles (and can unsubscribe if they do and change their minds); 2) that may be true about unsubscribing, but the widgetmakers make it hard to unsubscribe; and 3) Facebook "should do everything in its power" to be a safe site for all. The Honesty Box application is not going to help him achieve this." So, my readers, what do you think? Email me your thoughts at anne@netfamilynews.org, or post them at the ConnectSafely forum for the benefit of all. Thanks!

Leave a comment