Transparency Item: The Perspectives section of the Graphic is comprised of articles based on opinion. This is the opinion and perspective of the writer.
Fizz allows college students to log in with their school emails and create anonymous posts to share with their school communities. Students can also reshare posts they enjoyed and upvote and downvote posts, similar to Reddit.
When major events occurred on campus, from the terrifying false alarm shooting to Chris Pratt’s 9/11 speech, students immediately flocked to Fizz to discuss with one another. Some made jokes for a lighthearted perspective, while others gave their two cents and opened the floor for others to share their opinions.
It’s definitely a lot of fun seeing the craziness unfold on the app. I know I’ve spent a good amount of time sobbing-laughing over posts as my friends and I did our daily scroll-through of the app.
However, Fizz can create a toxic environment. Its anonymity is a major contributing factor to this.
Being anonymous opens doors for cyberbullying and other hateful comments towards different social groups. These students can say what they want without ever having to take responsibility for their actions, according to The Amherst Student.
I’ve come across articles about multiple cases of cyberbullying on the app. One is that of a student at Seattle University, who claimed students on Fizz refer to him as the “chess man” and constantly discuss his whereabouts and take secret photos of him.
These comments also extend to singling out members of the school community. A student from Rice University shared what it was like seeing her name pop up in Fizz posts, saying, “It was just weird to think that random people walking around Rice are talking about me.”
I recall a moment when my sister had her 15 minutes of fame on Fizz, when a screenshot of her Snapchat story was in someone’s post. It was exciting she got noticed, but it also felt odd. Her username was in the open for everyone to see; it felt like a violation of privacy.
Personal information could end up in the hands of the wrong person. Yet, the target wouldn’t know, due to the anonymity factor. This ends up creating a dangerous situation for the victim at hand.
Those on Fizz should think about what they post on the app and take into consideration the feelings of any individual they may want to post about.
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