Bates College President Condemns Toxic Culture on Anonymous App BlindTiger, Urges Students to Delete


The president of Bates College, Garry Jenkins, has taken a firm stance against the anonymous social media app BlindTiger due to reports of anti-Semitic, misogynistic, body-shaming, and anti-Arab messages circulating within the platform.

Bates College President Condemns Toxic Culture on Anonymous App BlindTiger, Urges Students to Delete

(Photo : WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / Josh Kuckens)

In a letter addressed to the college's student newspaper, Jenkins expresses his disappointment in the platform's failure to uphold the values of respect and civility, which are integral to the Bates College ethos. He urged students to delete the app, citing concerns about its detrimental effects on mental health and its role in perpetuating harmful behavior within the campus community. He emphasized the importance of fostering a sense of belonging and respect for all individuals at Bates College.

Background and Controversy

BlindTiger gained popularity among Bates students in 2020, becoming a platform for anonymous posts and discussions. However, its usage has sparked controversy, with numerous instances of hateful and offensive content being shared on the app. Articles in The Bates Student have explored the app's popularity and its potential impact on campus culture, raising questions about the prevalence of bullying and discrimination within online communities.

The app, developed by Dante Delgado according to available information, allows users to post anonymously and rate various aspects of campus life, including dorms, clubs, and services. Despite its additional features for promoting events and sharing information, BlindTiger has come under scrutiny for enabling harmful behavior and contributing to a toxic online environment.

President Jenkins acknowledges that while BlindTiger operates as a third-party platform beyond the college's direct control, the impact of its content on campus cannot be ignored. He emphasizes the importance of addressing the harmful effects of anonymous speech and fostering a community where all members feel valued and supported. Despite BlindTiger's existence as a space for unkind and harmful discourse, Jenkins remains optimistic about the potential for positive change within the Bates community.  

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Response and Call for Action

While acknowledging that many students actively challenge hateful posts on BlindTiger, President Jenkins emphasized that the app's negative effects persist and urged the Bates community to address the underlying issues. Although he did not advocate for a ban on the app, Jenkins called for students to delete BlindTiger and uphold principles of civility and respect in both online and offline interactions. He calls for a collective effort to promote empathy, respect, and constructive dialogue in both virtual and real-world interactions. Jenkins emphasizes the need for individuals to uphold the same standards of behavior online as they would in face-to-face encounters, encouraging a culture of thoughtful engagement and mutual respect. 

The condemnation of BlindTiger reflects broader concerns about anonymous social media platforms on college campuses, with institutions like the University of North Carolina recently implementing bans on similar apps. Jenkins emphasized the need for collective action to address the challenges posed by online platforms and reaffirmed Bates College's commitment to fostering a supportive and inclusive community.

As the debate surrounding BlindTiger continues, Bates College faces ongoing discussions about the role of technology in shaping campus culture and the responsibilities of individuals within digital communities. 

President Jenkins reaffirms Bates College's commitment to upholding values of inclusivity, respect, and integrity in all aspects of campus life, including online discourse. While acknowledging the challenges posed by platforms like BlindTiger, Jenkins remains optimistic about the ability of the Bates community to address these issues collaboratively. By working together to promote responsible digital citizenship and foster a culture of empathy, Bates College aims to create a more positive and supportive online community for its students, faculty, and staff. 

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