Over the last month a website encouraging school pupils to write anonymous gossip about their peers has risen in popularity across Britain. The website is being used by teenagers to spread rumours about their fellow pupils’ looks, drug habits and sex lives, with the users of the site then have the choice to rate the story true or false.
The supposedly more illustrious institutions will not be happy to hear that their students appear to be the most enthusiastic users of the site. The comments on the site are obscene to say the least, with homophobia and threatening language to name but a few.
The comments posted on LittleGossip.com are so obscene that 10 per cent are reported by users for deletion. This latest social networking trend has not surprisingly made parents and headteachers furious.
Charlotte Macleod, a mother of four Children at the Harrodian School, in South West London voiced her anger; “What chills me is the viciousness of these unmoderated and anonymous posts. My 15-year-old daughter’s friends are being mocked, sneered at and goaded. True or false, these personal and sexual taunts are universally available online.’
At the Tormead School for girls in Guildford, headteacher Christina Foord has threatened recriminations to any student found using the site inappropriately. The national union of teachers have also slammed the site, accusing the creators of creating a ‘vehicle for cyber bullying’.
LittleGossip was created by web developers in Central America, allowing pupils from around the world to select which country they live in and which school they attend, allowing peers the easy access to relevant messages.
The site was launched in November in the UK, with social networking giants Facebook and Twitter being used by teenagers to spread the word. The site is supposed to be officially only accessed by adults, with LittleGossip claiming that the site was launched to encourage deep, meaningful conversation.