Mikaela Rabizadeh social media editor
We mourned the fall of ask.fm. We watched Orqa’s inevitable shut-down. We even saw Afterschool fade out in a blink of an eye. Year after year, a new social media fad surfaces, stirring up controversy. This school year, yet another anonymous forum has taken the student body by storm, only with a twist: it’s solely positive messages.
TBH is a new hit, not only ranking number one in the App Store top charts, but circulating among iPhone users on campus. Short for “to be honest,” the app lives up to its name as a platform that allows students to answer questions about their peers truthfully under anonymity.
Here’s how it works. The creators of the app provide a set of “most likely to” questions that students must answer using the four given names. When your name is chosen in a poll, TBH will send you a notification, only providing you with the topic, along with the gender and grade of the person who answered.
“It’s basically ask.fm, but only nice things,” junior Julia Yaris said. “The people who create the app are the only ones that can submit the questions, so there aren’t really any negative topics.”
While other anonymous apps promoted bullying and inevitably caused rumors to spread, TBH takes a different approach. Instead of tearing down, it’s purpose as a confidence-booster attracts the support of many students, including Yaris.
“If people are saying gratifying things about you, even though you don’t know who they are, it’s nice to hear. You don’t know if a person is chosen over you either, so there isn’t any negativity spread,” she said.
The app has a strong following within the freshmen class, including active user Alyssa Balbier. Balbier enjoys the mystery aspect behind the anonymous messages.
“It’s interesting to find out which questions people chose me for. Sometimes, I try to figure out who said it. Let’s say if the question says they like me, I would want to know who they are,” Balbier said.
TBH establishes an environment where students can hear the “truth” about themselves, without the built-in risk of bullying.
“It’s become so popular because everyone wants to know an honest opinion,” Balbier said. “Since you don’t know who the answers are coming from, it’s not going to be biased.”