Does Blind Tiger Encourage Bullying?


Have something to complain about? Need to ask your peers a question? Look no further than to the little orange app on your cellular device: Blind Tiger. 

The image of a tiger adorns the screens of many Bates students’ phones, anonymous posts flowing in every few minutes. At first glance, the app can appear harmless, but upon further examination, it’s clear that some users abuse Blind Tiger’s anonymity. 

Sure, many of the posts simply consist of students expressing their feelings about campus happenings, but occasionally, posts will contain full names of students – majority of the posts which contain names are untrue, or perpetuate rumors amongst the student body.

While this can seem insignificant, and while many people brush it off when their name appears on the app, some occurrences can have lasting effects on students. For example, the recent BCSG election:

Several candidates were spoken about in an incredibly negative light, with some users tearing down the candidates’ name, claiming that they were “annoying” – some posts even going as far to claim that some candidates were transphobic and homophobic. 

“This situation caused me unnecessary stress and strife, and I hope no one else has to defend their name from slander that is created out of nothing,” states BCSG election candidate, Augie Reardon. “I constantly felt the need to check the app and defend myself from the baseless accusations because otherwise the rumors would spiral out of control.”

And he has a point. 

Last week, a sophomore who wrote an article for The Student received backlash for it on Blind Tiger, her name appearing frequently and the users attacking everything from her personality, to her upbringing, and even her style of clothing.

“If I could tell the student body anything, it would be to stop making assumptions. On an anonymous posting app it is impossible to where information is sourced from or if it is legitimate,” said Augie. 

While it’s known that the information found on Blind Tiger should always be taken with a grain of salt, some people do rely on it; for example: housing updates. A few nights ago, when it was time for rising sophomores to begin the housing process, numerous “updates” were posted to the app, stating which dorms still had room availability. These updates were greatly helpful, but other posts were spreading incorrect information early on in the selection process, incorrectly stating that all of the single dorms were taken. It truly can be difficult to differentiate which pieces of information are true from those that are false.

Here’s my take: we are all in this college experience together. Spread kindness (not rumors).