A new app that allows users to send anonymous text messages is causing alarm among parents, politicians and some teenagers, who say it is being used as a weapon for cyber-bullying. Hayley Platt reports
Blindspot app causes stir in Israel
A controversial new app is stirring emotions in Israel.
Blindspot allows users to send each others text messages…
Without revealing their true identity.
Dan Williams is a Reuters reporter in Jerusalem.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER IN JERUSALEM DAN WILLIAMS, SAYING:
“The company says it was initially conceived as a means to let people who were too shy to reach out romantically to give them a means of reaching out and touch them when they’re interested without necessarily exposing their own identity immediately.”
But it’s being used for other purposes too.
Vulnerable groups such as battered wives and abused children say they’ find it helpful to raise the alarm.
But some Israeli parents groups and even politicians are calling for it to be banned.
Concerned it could make it easier for cyber bullies to target victims.
One parent blames companies like Google and Apple for hosting the App.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) YANIV SHAHAR, EDUCATOR AND PARENT TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHILDREN, SAYING:
“This is the main problem and they have to understand the risks of using these kind of apps.”
Last year a similar U.S. App, Secret-ly was shut down after complaints it was used for abuse.
Dan Sher is at school in Jerusalem.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DAN SHER, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT SAYING:
“People feel free to be anonymous and tell whatever they want even if it hurts and I disagree with that.
Israel is zeroing in on cyber-bullying as part of a new online crime unit
But Blindspot may not be disappearing any time soon.
Last month, it was Israel’s most downloaded social app.