I’ll tweet your secret in a minute

What the deuce is SecretTweet?

@sn11 Secrettwitter or something loik that search “SecretTweet” its people who post to this site then the site posts them up on secret tweet

I’m sorry, baking powder? SecretTweet is a site that allows you to submit your most scandalous secret anonymously. This is then tweeted by @SecretTweet and your sin is let loose to the world, without the fear of retribution or embarrassment. You’ve shared your pain, but nobody can laugh at you for it.

So what do people think about SecretTweet?

@cynjh secret tweets is so scandalous – it’s like dynasty on steroids.

@thelonelysouls There’s some people posting some sick shit over at Secret Tweet. I’ve been reading it on and off all day long.

@LipLand God secret tweet is bloody depressing!

@TheLuluBean This secret tweet thing makes me realize how horrible people are. Even if they’re faked.

@jestergoblin I THINK PEOPLE ON SECRET TWEET ARE BATSHIT INSANE.

Sister Josephine thinks I only use this broom for sweeping...

Sister Josephine thinks I only use this broom for sweeping...

Sounds grim. Why do we read it then?

@howlvenice secret tweet: you are a voyeur in someone else’s pain; like slowing down to watch that car accident on the road. Gory, yet irresistible.

@lizpiper3286 i love secret tweet :-) interesting to see how people view the world and their problems

Is this a good thing? Random divulging may be cathartic for you, but what about for others? Some of the more compassionate members of society may share your pain, perhaps through a triggered memory or simply a bleeding heart. Or maybe they can help you, but they have no idea where the hell you are, so they just wind up feeling impotent. SecretTweet does have a reply function, but if the original SecretTweeter doesn’t respond to your advice, that’s the end of the line. I’ve seen incidents on forums in the past where people have anonymously announced their intention to commit suicide. This is fine if others are able to convince you to give life another shot, but what about the flip side? Eventually a moderator of that particular forum had to step in and make the rule that if you really wanted to off yourself, you should just get it over with in private and refrain from announcing it to a group of people who were helpless to stop you.

@EmpressCortana I follow secret tweet and sometimes I feel sorry for some of these anonymous people, and I wish I can console them or give them advice.

Are there any other possible implications?

@HeavyHand Secret tweet is gonna malfunction one day and get a lot of people MESSED up!

@mosteinbach Please ignore my last tweet… that was intended for Secret Tweet.

I got thinking about online communities for secret-telling and put out some questions to my Twitter followers.

  1. Do you think you’re more honest online or IRL?
    • I am sneakily the same everywhere.
    • Online, because I can vent but still control who sees it, to a point.
    • I try to be an honest person as much as I can, online or off, but I tend to censor myself more on the internet.
  2. Have you ever told a secret anonymously online? If so, where?
    • Yes – SecretTweet – but ages ago.
    • I have! Grouphug.us is my fave. Livejournal also has communities for anon posting.
    • No, but I’ve made plenty up solely to create a discussion.
  3. Do you think services like SecretTweet and PostSecret are helpful or disturbing?
    • Helpful because they’re cathartic and allow people to release whatever they’ve kept. Sometimes things are disturbing too but you wonder if they’re true. People like to say fucked up things on the Internet.
    • I guess it’s helpful in a way because people can share their experiences and not feel so alone. On the other hand, a lot of people use sites like PostSecret to get on their soapbox or do the whole attention-grabbing emo thing.
  4. What did people do with their secrets before the internet was built?
    • Told strangers because they were unlikely to come close to the truth.
    • Fester, simmer and boil.
    • Stuffed them into glass bottles and cast them into the sea.
    • Wrote them on toilet stall doors.
    • Took them to their graves.
  5. Do you want this interview to be anonymous because you’ve already said too much?
    • No, it’s all good.

Thanks to Gavin, Ellie, Jayphen, Ceri, and Tom.

Jye Smith is currently Senior Vice President, Head of Strategy & Operations, Asia Pacific at Weber Shandwick. Ranked in B&Ts 30 Under 30, Jye a regular keynote speaker and workshop facilitator who specialises in digital and social media strategist.

There are 5 comments for this article
  1. Gavin Heaton at 11:40 am

    Secrets are fascinating for us. They are primal. The thing is, telling a secret anonymously erases our identity. It is a confession from which there can be no redemption.

    However, TweetSecret is different. It allows us to share our secrets with the hope of recognition or with the consolation of connection. And in this way, is a technology that carries within it, the potential for our own transformation. And because of this, it can be mesmerizing.

  2. Annik at 11:49 am

    @Gavin – when you say that people tweet secretly with the hope of recognition, do you mean recognition of their identity or just of their plight/situation/mindset?

    It mesmerises me because I find such blatant admissions fascinating. I wouldn’t be more shocked if a line of people stood in front of me and dropped their pants. I think that the rawness of it confirms what we suspected of human nature, but perhaps didn’t want to know was true… That’s my negative slant on it anyway.

  3. Gavin Heaton at 2:27 pm

    @annik It can be both. Haven’t you ever entrusted someone with a secret knowing that they may reveal it? But you see, this is also a form of writing – and on the web we write ourselves into existence. And this makes it part performance – in writing even a secret tweet we are caught in the act of being and performing ourselves at the same time.

    The very last thing we want is erasure.