Here is how it'll go. The subject of the email would read, “From [X], anonymously.” Fill X with “a friend” or “a co-worker” and such variations. The content of the email would be a confession. Here's some of the leaks already sent, “I think you're talented at work but I think you should do something else.” Or “I think you're really sexy even though you're fat.”
Such heartwarming messages, aren't they?
This is Leak, a new messaging confessionals app developed by 25-year-old Laurent Desserrey, apparently to create a “really positive and exciting tool”. Developed over a weekend in Paris where Desserrey and his friends live, the app signals a rising trend in anonymous messaging, following Secret, Whisper or Yik Yak.
The idea isn't at all new, even before the advent of apps. The appeal of voicing your secret and finding some solace in expression, even anonymously, is the premise of PostSecret and some form of the practice exists perhaps from time immemorial. Even in now-ravaged Pompeii, one may decipher Latin graffiti scrawled in a bathhouse to the effect of “here, a good screw was had.”
Anonymity is a double-edged sword. As anyone who's been on the Internet long enough can attest, it takes little courage to say something inflammatory behind this wall of screen. But the vitriol heedlessly spouted in your Twitter feed or an article's comment tree is not as unsettling as a Leak might be.
As a recipient of a Leak, you suffer your sender's indiscretion without any recourse for yourself. Someone thinks you're fat but sexy, but not enough to come up to you and ask you out directly? Someone in your workplace thinks you're better off not working there at all? And what are you supposed to do with this new information? You can't truly ignore it because the sender is someone who is around you often enough or cares enough to send you something specifically, yet hasn't the balls to say it to your face? So what? What now?
The overall motive could perhaps be gathered by this line, at the bottom of their website: “Sign up here for the best leaks of the week, delivered every Monday to your inbox.” Aha, so it is the culture of voyeurism as the guiding hand, once more.
Gentle reader, I leave it to you to decide your participation in this.