Social media users are fickle creatures, which is why networks are always coming up with gimmicks to draw in new ones. This is also probably why Instagram unveiled its new question and answer feature this week, in a vain attempt to hold on to its flightly fan base.
The latest add-on is similar to retro Q&A sites such as Formspring (R.I.P), where teens could ask each other anonymous questions back in the early 2000s, with the responses posted publically. Many users utilised the site for innocent reasons, like asking whether “blank had a crush on blank and what not.” Unfortunately, others used it as a tool for cyberbullying. In fact, the sites were still being blamed for teen suicides as recently as 2013, thanks to the more recent incarnation, Ask.fm.
However, Instagram seems to have found a way around this penchant for secretive cyberbullying. Unlike other Q&A forums, the Instagram version allows users to see the handle of whoever is posing them a question. This hasn’t been made obvious, with the image-sharing site telling users their handle won’t be posted if the question is shared. Although it is true that if the recipient shares your question publically your username will remain anonymous, but the receiver themselves will still know.
This has led to several Instagrammers assuming anonymity when asking questions, not realising that the recipient knows it’s them the whole time.
Unsurprisingly, Twitter is now filled with stories of incognito naughtiness gone awry
Yo I didn’t know those ig questions weren’t anonymous and I told someone their head was shaped like an almond
— Henry (@HenryOr_) July 11, 2018
I THOUGHT THE INSTAGRAM QUESTIONS WERE ANONYMOUS SO I TOLD A GIRL HER DOG WAS UGLY FJCKSKSJKDKDJCKSIAODKCJS
— ciara |6 days| (@adoptingbailey) July 12, 2018
So I learned the new Instagram “ask me something” isn’t anonymous so I’m just going to delete my account now
— Dom (@Domasaur_) July 11, 2018
The ‘ask me the question’ in instagram is messed up. I post a question to my crush only to realise it wasn’t anonymous anymore.
— aishuuuuuu (@aishwaryaa5) July 11, 2018
Turns out this Instagram questions thingy isn’t anonymous ??? I cannot show my face at school after what I’ve just done ???
— chantelle ? (@chantellchitura) July 12, 2018
would have been nice to know that the instagram questions weren’t Anonymous before i called my bro’s girlfriend ugly
— happy birthday flavio (@marua_yo) July 13, 2018
absolutely thought the instagram “ask me a question” thing was anonymous. so if you get a question from me asking if pee is stored in the balls, that wasn’t intended for you. my bad
— KJ (@thekjhaluska) July 11, 2018
Didn’t realize that the Instagram question thing wasn’t anonymous, so I accidentally asked my secret nemesis “Why are you such a bitch” yikes.
— anna (@anna_hawersaat) July 11, 2018
Just one more reason to not be a d*ck on the internet!