Airdrie teen Twitter account causing outrage
Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 06:00 am
Airdrie parents are concerned about the Twitter handle @Airdrie_Confess.
The website Airdrie Confessions was launched on Feb. 10 and the constant stream of young local followers’ sexual confessions worries parents, who feel that they shouldn't be online for all to see.
“I just read a post on Airdrie Moms that had very disturbing information that needs to be shared,” wrote Karen MacDonald on the Airdrie Mom’s Facebook page.
“If you have teenage kids you need to know this … very disturbing content mainly sexual confessionals of local kids.”
While the tweets are posted as anonymous, MacDonald said she worries the information might not be as private as users would like to believe.
“It’s very disturbing, I messaged my friend who’s a guidance teacher, so she would have done something with that,” MacDonald, a mother of two, said. “The way things go, there is always something. We, as parents need to keep up with social media trends. The kids might be in trouble; it’s not, not trusting, it’s keeping them safe.”
“I guess my first impression is that it’s really disgusting, it’s just disgusting,” said Airdrie mom Nikki Parkinson.
“They don’t use a lot of digression, the biggest thing that caught my eye was, if they (think they) are just (saying these things to) try to get a rise, that can completely ruin someone’s life.”
Parkinson, a mother of a teenage daughter who attends George McDougall High School, believes the reactions from some parents can cause further problems.
“The most disturbing comments (come) from parents that say “kids-will-be-kids,” if you look at some of the posts, there are names on there,” Parkinson said.
“It could open someone up to bullying and (being) tormented, that’s the worst part of parents saying kids will be kids. This is kids doing things that can ruin people lives.”
The Twitter handle is connected to the webpage ask.fm/AirdrieConfessions, an interactive messaging site where users ask each other questions.
The account’s users state allegations of incidents of rape and underage sexual activity.
As of press time the Twitter account had 721 followers and had posted 232 tweets from users, believed to be from Airdrie.
A representative from Rocky View Schools (RVS) explained the school board was aware of the Twitter account and has taken measures to inform students about the pitfalls of posting personal information on a public site.
“It is being addressed with individual students that have been identified,” said Don Hoium, superintendent for Rocky View Schools.
Hoium explained that the incidents are being used to approach students about how they should use social media responsibly in the future.
“We do stress that in all of our schools though,” he said.
As for the site itself, Hoium believes that it is an “inappropriate use of social media.”
“What I would say to (the operator) is how would you feel if you had facilitated the comments and it ends with someone committing suicide, is it innocent then?” Parkinson said.