Who said that? Social network launched for anonymous users

Unidentified users are more likely to express themselves freely, say operators of Duvamis site

Want to anonymously post your ideas and opinions on a social network?

You can. The Duvamis social network went was launched late last month with a mission of keeping the identity of its posters from other users -- and site operators.

The company says that anonymity allows its users to express themselves freely, ignoring social or peer pressure.

The site offer users the option of making posts widely available or keeping them private within a closed group. A spokesman for the company said the site's founders also are remaining anonymous, in keeping with the rules of the site.

"We are pleased to provide users with a truly anonymous forum for free communication and self-expression," said Peter Gechy, a Duvamis vice-president. "We are confident users will find the Duvamis community as a space free from outside influence where they can show their true identity and a catalyst for self-discovery."

The site launched on 31 May and claimed 15,000 users in three weeks, according to a spokesman.

To join, users only have to provide a working email address. They are not required to give provide real names to the site's operators.

"The valid email all users have to provide during registration is only a measure, making possible the retrieving of forgotten password for the platform," said a spokesman. "It is never used for other purposes or made available to third parties."

Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, said the new social network might get a lot of initial interest, but it's long-term outlook is doubtful.

"If people are going to make bold statements, they typically want their name associated with it, unless it's something illegal. Then it shouldn't go on a site anyway." said Kerravala. "With no repercussions, who would take anything said there seriously?"

The site could also attract people with more nefarious purposes than one would find on a social network whose users are identified, he said

"Who does this provide value to?" asked Kerravala. "Other than people looking to buy drugs, cheat on a spouse or quit their job? And depending on what the content is, what advertiser wants to be associated with it? Maybe bail bondsman and lawyers."

In an email to Computerworld, the Duvamis spokesman responded, saying: "Our goal is for users to share in-depth and insightful information. Especially with the anonymity aspect, Duvamis is a critical tool for users wanting to state their opinions without consequence."

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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