Web Culture

The (Remarkably Friendly) Things People Say Anonymously on Twitter

Harry Guinness 10-07-2015

People can now anonymously talk to their friends on Twitter – but what are they saying? We decided to find out.


Creating a separate Twitter account to anonymously send messages to people — whether you know them or not — is a little weird How To Identify & Fend Off Twitter Stalkers Everyone who is on your Twitter followers list is a potential stalker. Twitter, more than Facebook, makes it easier to stalk someone. Are we being too paranoid? Is the social sphere filled with more online... Read More . Thanks to a new service called Whisperly, however, anyone can send an anonymous tweet from their own account. With Whisperly regular people get all the “fun” of sending anonymous messages without dealing with secret Twitter accounts.

Here’s how it works: you direct message the Whisperly Twitter account and a few moments later it tweets out what you said. If there’s space, it will preface your message with “Anonymous [random animal] says” and add the hashtag #shh. Otherwise, it just sends your exact message.

Abuse is a big problem on Twitter Tweeting While Female: Harassment, and How Twitter Can Fix It Twitter's abuse problem is real. Here are some examples, along with expert opinion on how Twitter can solve this. Read More so it’s good to see that Whisperly appears to have some content filters in place to stop abusive messages. The odd nasty tweet seems to have made it through but, for the most part, most messages are remarkably friendly. I suspect that over time they’ll further tweak their filters to eliminate even more of the abuse.

As of the time of writing, the Whisperly account has a little under 600 tweets, so I decided to dig in and see what kind of things people were saying.

Insulting Your Friends

As a consummate professional, my first instinct when I tried Whisperly was to send anonymous insults to my work mates. It seems a lot of other people had the same idea. Some jokes just never age.


Testing Out the Service

A lot of people were even less imaginative than me and my other schoolyard level buddies; a huge number of early tweets were some variation on “test” or “testing”. Give a developer the ability to say anything they want completely anonymously and they default to the most boring thing possible.


Fortunately, a few wild people broke from the pack and varied their tests a little.

Pure Confusion

One user seemingly loved the idea of Whisperly but wasn’t quite sure how to use the service. They did the logical thing and sent Whisperly a direct message asking what to do…

It was tweeted out straight away.


The Existential Crisis

Most interestingly, one Whisperly user seemed to have an existential crisis while using the service. The four tweets, which followed in quick succession, seem to show one person’s struggle with the world.

The conversation starts with a simple plea for help. Why anyone would turn to an anonymous Twitter account for help I don’t know, but someone evidently did.

Whisperly obviously tweeted their direct message out which, for some reason, surprised our unnamed protagonist. Their plea for help, apparently, was no secret.


Again, Whisperly broadcast their message to the world calling into question all they held dear. Our protagonist demands answers, none of which were forthcoming.

The Shower Singer

The ways Whisperly can be used passive-aggressively are nearly limitless. One tweeter announced to the world that someone they knew sings loudly in the shower.

Putting on my detective hat, I tried to dig deep into who might be the secretly serenaded person.

Unfortunately, Sunny knew no more than me.

I tried to follow up but the leads went dead. This would be just another unsolved online mystery.

Other Weirdly Specific Messages

Sunny wasn’t the only recipient of a weirdly specific message. Some people used Whisperly to send very odd messages that didn’t need to be anonymous:

Shocking shirt revelations.

Deep personal criticisms.

Earth shattering discoveries.

Hair raising sentiments.

Confessions of Love

Of course, this article wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t feature some of the confessions of love. It would seem secret admirers are alive and well on Twitter.

Is it Really Anonymous?

It’s very very difficult to be truly anonymous online Can You Really Be Anonymous Online? We all have things we'd rather not tell the world about. I think it's time we clear up a few things about anonymity online -- and answer once and for all, whether it's really possible. Read More . Even when you aren’t aware of it, services like Twitter collect a huge amount of data How Anyone Can Find Your Personal Details Via Twitter With Tinfoleak Read More every time you use them.

While any tweet sent from Whisperly’s account can only be traced back to the service itself, they know who sent each message. The chances are that any message you submit will remain anonymous, however, if you threatened someone or said anything illegal, I doubt Whisperly would protect you — they’re not the EFF Who Is Fighting On Your Behalf Against The NSA And For Privacy? There are several Internet activism groups who are fighting on your behalf for privacy. They are doing their best to educate netizens as well. Here are just a few of them that are incredibly active. Read More . As with all things online, don’t act like an ass and you’ll probably be fine.

Whisperly is out there and ready for you to use. What do you want to say anonymously? Any friends to insult or confessions of love to make? Let us know what you think of it in the comments.

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