Lipsi is an anonymous messaging app, which means it creates the opportunity for one person to send a message to another person without revealing their identity including their gender, age, etc. Lipsi allows you to send messages to another Lipsi user within a certain physical proximity of your location and then begin an anonymous conversation with them.
Lipsi has multiple warnings against abusive (threatening or racial) behavior and warns users that inappropriate messaging can result in your identity being revealed.
There are recommended age restrictions, but there is no true age verification process in place (which is practically impossible anyway). Users simply self-avow that they are old enough to create a profile on the app with the click of a button.
From a Parents Perspective:
Lipsi is an app for smartphones (Android and Apple) that allows the user to create an account and then to send and receive anonymous messages from other Lipsi users. On the Apple App store, Lipsi is rated 17+ which is an appropriate rating for this app. It receives this rating because of:
Frequent/Intense Mature/Suggestive Themes – Unrestricted Web Access
That should be enough to cause concern for any parent. But in case it isn’t, keep reading.
Anonymous messaging provides fertile ground for cyberbullying, a serious problem with teens and pre-teens. A registered user of Lipsi receives a personalized feedback link that can be shared, for instance, on social network sites like Instagram or Facebook. If your child does not have their other social networking profiles set to private, this would open them up to the possibility of stalking or harassment from an anonymous source.
There is a “Community Review” function within the app itself. This type of function is frequently used by app creators to train their AI or machine learning algorithms to detect inappropriate messages. The author of one article accessed the “Community Review” function in the app where the community of users can decide if actual messages are appropriate or not. In this case, the author states that about 75% of the messages the reporter read were inappropriate.
The bottom line is that if a technology can be abused for a destructive purpose it will be abused by someone for a destructive purpose, and, that misuse will be more common than you would have guessed. Don’t allow that someone to be your child, either on the sending or receiving end.
Lipsi is not for children under the age of 18. Apps that employ anonymity as a feature are fertile ground for cyberbullying, sexual harassment and stalking.
Since GreatCity.org is concerned with parents of children under the age of 18, that s our perspective in our advice and reviews. From a parent’s point of view, the Lipsi App is not appropriate for children. The main deal-breaker is the anonymous aspect and the opportunity it creates for cyberbullying, abuse, etc. It also makes use of location data to create conversations with other Lipsi users within a certain proximity. Parents should never allow their children to carry on a conversation anonymously with a stranger that is in a possible position to have physical access to your child.
Whisper – From BUZZSAW “…the anonymous forum has been dying out after all of its board members stepped down from their positions last year.”
Yik Yak – From Business Insider “…Yik Yak will be shutting down its anonymous chat app in the next week as the school year draws to a close, the company announced.”
Secret – April 29, 2015 founder David Byttow closed down the app and company, claiming the way that people were using the app including the spreading of malicious rumors was not what he had originally envisioned.
Sarahah – Banned from Apple and Android in the summer of 2018
Lipsi Review from Zift (Zift)
Is the Lipsi App Safe? (Protect Young Eyes)
If your kids are using anonymous messaging app Lipsi, they probably shouldn’t (Herald Mail Media)
Other Parents Comments: (From Common Sense Media)
A Short History of Anonymous Messaging Apps
According to one article on Wired, there have been a series of anonymous messaging apps. Among the most popular in their time were Secret, Yik Yak, and Whisper. Each one seemed to follow the same pattern. They began as a way to “say what you really think” because your comments are anonymous. Then people become abusive and mean spirited which is negative for users of the app. This, in turn, drives the creators of the app to begin to moderate the content, typically through computer programs, AI, machine learning, etc. This then turns the content bland and causes the app to fade as the alure of the “say what you think” anonymously concept fades.
According to the BBC, another anonymous messaging app Sarahah was banned from both the Android and Apple app stores in the summer of 2018 because of cyberbullying that was not being caught or controlled by the creators.
From the Google App Store:
Also, from the Google App Store user Reviews:
About the Author:
Terry has been an entrepreneur in the IT industry for over 30 years. Go here to read his complete personal story, “Husband, father, Grandfather and IT Executive.” If you want to send Terry a quick message visit the contact page Here.
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