The Tellonym App Encourages Students To Be Anonymous Online

, you're logged in!
April 17, 2019

Become a member or log in to view this course

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.

What is the Tellonym app?

  • The Tellonym app allows students (and strangers) to ask and answer questions anonymously
  • When users sign up they get a link they share with friends
  • Friends can ask questions (called “Tells”) using that link. Only the user being asked can see the questions
  • Many students put their link in their Instagram bio or Snapchat snaps
  • If the user chooses to answer a question, their answer and the original question are then posted to their public profile
  • Every profile is public by default
  • Profiles include a profile picture, a name, a custom status, and answered questions
  • According to the app “All information publicly visible on a profile was provided by the account owner and can be removed from the public eye.”
  • Tellonym allows users to follow others and see their answers
  • The search feature allows users to look for others based on their age, gender, and location
  • Users can ask questions anonymously or users can choose to add their name
  • Users can block other users without the app notifying the follower
  • Users can report questions without revealing to the other user that they are being reported
  • The Tellonym app can be linked to a user’s Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter account, meaning inappropriate messages can include inappropriate images
  • Users can filter content based on specific keywords

Why should parents care?

  • Students tend to behave poorly if they feel like they can hide behind an anonymous app
  • Everyone on the app is anonymous - which means this app is dangerous and strangers may contact your child
  • The Tellonym app is a breeding ground for cyberbullying behavior
  • Users can receive sexually explicit messages and insults
  • There are reports of law enforcement getting involved due to threats made on the app by students
  • This app has already had so many complaints that they created Law Enforcement and Parental Advisory Guides that are available on their website
  • When teens connect anonymous apps to their Instagram or Snapchat they open themselves up to being targeted by strangers across platforms

Login or join the VIP membership today to view all resources about Tellonym!

Become a member or log in to view this course

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.

Quotation marks

This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

StarStarStarStarStar

Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

Quotation marks

Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

StarStarStarStarStar

Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

Quotation marks

This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

StarStarStarStarStar

Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
This app is not safe for students to use unsupervised, but a Green Zone app can serve a positive purpose to help a student to navigate social media and someday build an online brand. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Green Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Gray Zone apps often contain lots of private & disappearing messages, and strangers can use this to chat with students. Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe. This zone can be a great place for family time since many of these apps can be entertaining, and let your students express themselves. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Gray Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone.
Red Zone apps often have lots of anonymous features, adult content, and easy contact with strangers. Supervision is strongly suggested on each of these apps or move your kids to a safer zone. All apps require parental supervision, these apps more than others. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Red Zone or view our list of 100+ Apps to find a safer app with your student.
Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ app reviews at SmartSocial.com

This trend is categorized as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge.
Viral challenges encourage students to do dangerous things to garner likes, views, attention, and subscribers. These challenges can be found across several social networks and may encourage students to perform dangerous activities. SmartSocial.com keeps parents updated on these social media challenges before an incident may occur in your community.

Table of Contents

Similar to the Sarahah app, the Tellonym app allows students (and strangers) to ask and answer questions anonymously. The Tellonym app can be linked to a user’s Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter account, allowing students to get inbound anonymous messages from their friends and strangers. When teens connect anonymous apps to their Instagram or Snapchat they open themselves up to being targeted by strangers across platforms (and bullying/threats from people they may not know).

This app is in the Smart Social RED ZONE and is not safe for your student to use.

Parent & educator training video

What is the Tellonym app?

  • The Tellonym app allows students (and strangers) to ask and answer questions anonymously
  • When users sign up they get a link they share with friends
  • Friends can ask questions (called “Tells”) using that link. Only the user being asked can see the questions
  • Many students put their link in their Instagram bio or Snapchat snaps
  • If the user chooses to answer a question, their answer and the original question are then posted to their public profile
  • Every profile is public by default
  • Profiles include a profile picture, a name, a custom status, and answered questions
  • According to the app “All information publicly visible on a profile was provided by the account owner and can be removed from the public eye.”
  • Tellonym allows users to follow others and see their answers
  • The search feature allows users to look for others based on their age, gender, and location
  • Users can ask questions anonymously or users can choose to add their name
  • Users can block other users without the app notifying the follower
  • Users can report questions without revealing to the other user that they are being reported
  • The Tellonym app can be linked to a user’s Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter account, meaning inappropriate messages can include inappropriate images
  • Users can filter content based on specific keywords

What students say about the Tellonym app

DELETE THE APP NOW!!
This app is not good at all! Being able to be anonymous while posting things on here resulted into something that was probably not meant for this app! But it is one way for people to send threats. And this is happening to my school right now. Someone sent a message to a student at my school and said that they are going to shoot up our school, and kill everyone and anyone. This is no joke! This app should be deleted! This gives people a way to threat someone without being found. Now we may never know who this person is threatening our school. And we won’t know if we are safe until someone can get to the bottom of who is in charge of the threats! DO NOT USE THIS APP. They need to delete it ASAP!

Source: iTunes App Store

The Tellonym app in the news:

Schools have issued a warning to parents about a new app sweeping [the area] that they claim is fueling cyberbullying among children. Tellonym - available for free on Apple and Google Play - is the latest in a series of anonymous messaging apps to have become wildly popular in a matter of months.

Manchester Evening News

Tellonym claims its simple text-based approach and in-house monitoring reduce the possibility of cyberbullying, the app's ability to link to more diverse social media apps like Snapchat and Twitter more or less cancel out that claim. With two million registered users and the promise of anonymity, Tellonym is an obvious temptation for shy kids and teens; unfortunately, the app's potential for encouraging meanness and clique-ishness make it the last kind of app kids should use.

Common Sense Media

What parents say about the Tellonym app:

Terrible app
My daughter has this app and it is nothing but a platform for bullying. I wish that I could give zero stars. Also wish I could post a screenshot of the threatening messages my daughter received.

If I could give it zero stars I would
It’s a platform for bullies, cowards and trolls. Being anonymous lends itself to the cruelest of worlds with no consequences. If your kid has the app, it’s in your best interest to check it daily or delete it!!!!

Source: Common Sense Media

Why should parents care?

  • Students tend to behave poorly if they feel like they can hide behind an anonymous app
  • Everyone on the app is anonymous - which means this app is dangerous and strangers may contact your child
  • The Tellonym app is a breeding ground for cyberbullying behavior
  • Users can receive sexually explicit messages and insults
  • There are reports of law enforcement getting involved due to threats made on the app by students
  • This app has already had so many complaints that they created Law Enforcement and Parental Advisory Guides that are available on their website
  • When teens connect anonymous apps to their Instagram or Snapchat they open themselves up to being targeted by strangers across platforms

What can parents do?

  • If your student has the Tellonym app, ask them to delete it immediately and have a discussion about the dangers of the app
  • When you’re ready for your student to be public on social media, consider setting up a profile on one of the apps in our Green Zone
  • Remind your children to always keep their posts Light, Bright & Polite™ -- even if they’re intended to remain private
  • Model positive social media behavior. Your kids will be less inclined to use social media negatively if they have a positive role model to observe
  • Use the same apps as your children. This will make it easier to monitor who they’re talking to, if they are staying safe, and if they’re using apps like Tellonym
  • Consider changing the security settings on your child’s phone so it doesn’t allow them to download new apps without your permission

Conclusion

The Tellonym is in our Red Zone because everyone on the app is anonymous - which means this app is dangerous and strangers may contact your child. Also, students tend to behave poorly if they feel like they can hide behind an anonymous app. If your student has the Tellonym app, ask them to delete it immediately and have a discussion about the dangers of the app.

How do you keep your kids safe on anonymous apps? Let us know in the comments below!


, can you give us some feedback about this lesson?

Logged in and still not seeing content? This course may not be part of your membership plan. Click here to join.

Share Your Thoughts With Our Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Join our next digital citizenship live events:

Some events are free, others require a VIP membership

Become a Very Informed Parent (VIP) to get our social media suggestions in your email every Tuesday & Thursday.
Dotted arrow to right
Learn about our
"Very Informed Parent" 
VIP Program
Right arrow
Josh Ochs headshot Round
Schools & Districts: Partner with us to protect your community online

Our remote presentations (and website) teaches over a million students each year how to shine online. We teach students how their accounts can be used to create a portfolio of positive accomplishments that impress colleges and employers.

Partner with SmartSocial.com
Right arrow
SmartSocial podcast logo
Join Our Smart Social Podcast each week on iTunes

With over 240 episodes, Josh Ochs interviews psychologists, therapists, counselors, teachers, and parents while showing you how to navigate social media to someday shine online.

Listen on:

Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Youtube
Spotify

Read More From Smart Social:

Read More Posts On Our Blog
Right arrow

The Tellonym App Encourages Students To Be Anonymous Online

Fill out this form to receive free tips each week

Note: Many of our 400+ resources now require a low-cost membership to help us deliver great research and expert safety guides. Become a member today, login here, or have your district request a partnership to make these resources free for your community.