Lipsi App is Dangerous For Students

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December 19, 2018

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What is the Lipsi app?

  • Lipsi is an anonymous feedback app where students can accept anonymous feedback from others
  • Users create their Lipsi link and add it to their Instagram or Snapchat profiles
  • Users can send a message anonymously and reveal their identity later
  • If one user deletes a conversation with someone, it will delete the messages on both users devices and reset them to anonymous (if they shared their identity)
  • Although the app is relatively new at the time of this review, it is in the top 75 free apps in the Apple App store
  • The app warns that it will reveal your identity in cases of abusive, threatening, or racist comments
  • Upon signing up, Lipsi says it may gather your email, gender, date of birth, sexual preference, nationality, photographs, location, and social media accounts you link to

Why should parents care?

  • Anonymous apps like the Lipsi app can become breeding grounds for bullying behavior
  • Some students feel like they can hide behind being anonymous (and behave in a negative manner to others)
  • Anonymous apps don’t help a student make more friends
  • Anonymous apps bring out bad behavior and they lend themselves to bullying and depression/anxiety
  • Students should focus on social media platforms that have a positive impact on their online presence
  • Users can quickly erase their chat history which can encourage risky behavior
  • Lipsi requires users to be 18 or older but it’s easy for students younger than 18 to bypass the age requirement

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Table of Contents

Lipsi is an feedback app where students can accept anonymous comments from others. Anonymous apps like the Lipsi app are not safe for students and don’t help them build a positive digital footprint. We’ve seen similar apps like Yik Yak, Sarahah, and After School removed from the Apple App Store due to cyberbullying.

Parent & educator training video

What is the Lipsi app?

  • Lipsi is an anonymous feedback app where students can accept anonymous feedback from others
  • Users create their Lipsi link and add it to their Instagram or Snapchat profiles
  • Users can send a message anonymously and reveal their identity later
  • If one user deletes a conversation with someone, it will delete the messages on both users devices and reset them to anonymous (if they shared their identity)
  • Although the app is relatively new at the time of this review, it is in the top 75 free apps in the Apple App store
  • The app warns that it will reveal your identity in cases of abusive, threatening, or racist comments
  • Upon signing up, Lipsi says it may gather your email, gender, date of birth, sexual preference, nationality, photographs, location, and social media accounts you link to

Why should parents care?

  • Anonymous apps like the Lipsi app can become breeding grounds for bullying behavior
  • Some students feel like they can hide behind being anonymous (and behave in a negative manner to others)
  • Anonymous apps don’t help a student make more friends
  • Anonymous apps bring out bad behavior and they lend themselves to bullying and depression/anxiety
  • Students should focus on social media platforms that have a positive impact on their online presence
  • Users can quickly erase their chat history which can encourage risky behavior
  • Lipsi requires users to be 18 or older but it’s easy for students younger than 18 to bypass the age requirement

Lipsi in the News

Cyberbullying and stalking will become a bigger problem as the [Lipsi] app grows. [A college student we interviewed] has already experienced a degree of this herself: ‘I get super weird questions from unknown people that creep me out.’ –Refinery29
Anonymity, unfortunately, can bring out the worst of human behavior. Although Lipsi, like anything online, isn't truly anonymous. I was concerned about the information the app said it may gather. –Herald Mail Media
[The Lipsi app’s] connection to Instagram opens the door to all kinds of photo and video content it's not responsible for, and though it does contain reporting/blocking tools -- and a "ghost mode" to prevent location tracking -- users can reveal their identities to each other at will. –Common Sense Media
This app also lets users delete messages for both parties, so there’s no reliable way for parents to check if their kids are using Lipsi safely. –Careful Parents

Apps similar to Lipsi

The danger of anonymous apps

  • Sarahah is not the first anonymous messaging app to be linked to online bullying. The Secret app shut down after criticism in 2015, and Ask.fm was linked to several teen suicides in 2013
  • The anonymous app Yik Yak earned attention, and school-wide bans, from college campus officials when it was used to make threats and became a hotbed for abuse and harassment
  • Anonymity is seen as a facilitating factor in encouraging the spread of harassment online
  • 81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person

Sources:BBC News, The Verge, Pew Research Center, and DoSomething.org

What parents says about the Lipsi app

One day a teen will commit suicide because of this app! Found teens using this app and one that tried to commit suicide was bullied and told “why doesn't she do it already, who wants you alive, just die!” This is something that needs to be stopped I don't see the point of the app. I just hope this gets fixed before it’s too late and a teen takes there life because of this app. As they say the parents should know what their kids are doing but in the new age of technology that's impossible to track every move they make!
Lipsi is the path to bullying. Lipsi: seems fine, right? That is until kids are sending mean, hateful, and horrible comments to each other anonymously!! So, the comments like “go die” or “your ugly” cannot be stopped. And the worst part is, those comments are given the most. No one says “your awesome!!” anonymously because why not say that in person, when that person knows it’s you showing the kind efforts.
So, kids think that since it is anonymous, they can say whatever the heck they want. Which should be stopped. NOW! Please, if you are reading this, do NOT buy your child this application. Not only will it cause bullying, but it could make your child the bully!! May seem crazy but kids WILL see that it is anonymous and say whatever they choose. Please make the right decision for your child and others.

Source:Common Sense Media

What can parents do?

  • If your student has the Lipsi app, delete it immediately and discuss the dangers of using the app
  • When you’re ready for your student to be on social media, use the apps in the Green Zone on our Parent App Guide page to help them build a positive digital footprint
  • Remind your children that anonymous apps are never truly anonymous. Content they share through the Lipsi app can be screenshot by others or shared across other platforms
  • Teach your children to never post something online that they wouldn’t want a college admissions officer or future employer to see - even under an anonymous username
  • Monitor your children online by being on the apps they use

Next Steps

  • Search for your student (or yourself) on Google
  • Use your Instagram as a portfolio
  • Join Smart Social Week to keep your kids safe online (and positive in the future)
  • Take more positive group photos and share on social (or your new site)
  • Schools: Request 500 passes to Smart Social Membership

Conclusion

Anonymous apps like the Lipsi app are not safe for students and don't help them build a positive digital footprint. We've seen similar apps like Yik Yak, Sarahah, and After School removed from the Apple App Store due to cyberbullying. It's best for students to stay away from anonymous apps. Instead, students should focus on positive social media apps which can help them build a digital resume to impress colleges and future employers. Social media apps that can positively add to your student's digital footprint can be found in our Green Zone. Have regular discussions with your children about social media safety and explain why anonymous apps can be dangerous.

How do you protect your students from anonymous social media apps? Let us know in the comments below!

Additional Resources

With so many resources available and so many people wanting to help, suicide can be prevented. Check on your friends and family members often and let them know you’re there for them. Let’s work towards getting rid of the stigma of talking about mental health. 

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or call 911 immediately. If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text HOME to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.


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