Honesty Box Blamed for Bullying

The Telegraph posted an article earlier this morning stating that “Facebook has been accused of encouraging online bullying.” This is claimed to be a result of the Honesty Box application which enables users to post anonymous messages on each others’ walls. The application has been at the center controversy since its launch with thousands of people receiving hate messages but no way to find out who they received it from.

I asked Dan Peguine, creator of the Honesty Box application to comment on the complaints. He said, “When someone installs Honesty Box it’s their choice. They can choose to add or remove their application any time. It is against our terms of use to use Honesty Box for harassment. Additionally, we let users block people that bother them. We also keep away abusers and spammers by banning users that have been blocked by multiple users. Hence we argue that Honesty Box is safer than sketchy anonymous notes people get in their bags or on their lockers.”

The Telegraph article is clearly one-sided and also attempts to accuse Facebook, not Honesty Box of the problem. The article quotes Richard Rubin who argues on ComfortZone.com that users should be worried about the Honesty Box application. He claims that this app is the cause of cyber bullying. This is clearly different than traditional bullying in that as Dan Peguine points out, users can chose to block users that are blocking them.

What do you think? Is this a case of online bullying? Are these complaints grounded?