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mini_priznaniPhenomenon of internet confessions set the waves of Czech internet in motion and let us taste freedom of anonymous expression. However, the freedom also brought bitter cruelty of offending, taunting and defamation of particular individuals – mainly teachers. Today´s article will give you a taste of inexhaustible number of cases that are regularly being sent to our advisory centre on the subject of Confessions.

What does the Confession truly mean? Confessions are moderated internet discussions where the users confess to something they did. They of course confess anonymously to make it impossible to track their real identity. Confessions can be connected to the specific institution (e. g. confession of particular school), or to concrete social group (for example WoW players confession). Confession can be relatively funny service as well as a tool for spreading of defamations related to the concrete people –teachers in particular. In the nature of number of internet phenomena the authors of these discussion groups are usually young people – pupils and students.

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“I would like to commit a suicide or at least harm myself, but I don´t have the courage to do it... I am afraid of death but don´t want to live...” 

It is Friday evening and there is an author of one of the Facebook discussion groups on our chat. The discussion group was called *** secondary school confession (we do not state the concrete name of the group on purpose, but concerned people know what is going on). He created the group for fun, for entertainment of other schoolmates, as a tool for relaxation and also the fun. Based on his own words, he did not moderate the group; in fact he did not read most of the confessions... Apart from confessions like “I slept with a teacher who left the school a year after”, the group´s Facebook wall also started containing following “official” posts (we changed the teachers´ names on purpose):

8th October 2013 I wanna throw Doubek through a window.
9th October 2013 Sometimes I would like to throw a brick in Kubíčková´s face
9th October 2013 Sovák Bogy Tupac !
9th October 2013 I want to throw Šerif against the wall, son of a bitch
10th October 2013 I would call off the 7th classes, they totally suck and furthermore when you have Šmídová for 4 classes on one day, the old cum
11th October 2013 Novák is an old homeless
11th October 2013 I wanna hang Kubíčková somewhere and keep kicking into her head.
11th October 2013 When I see Mrs. Černá I seriously wonder which historical movie she got out

More than 500 users were enrolled for receiving the news and number was increasing during the time we were monitoring the discussion group. Official posts were of course commented and liked by many.

“Following adolescent behaviour can be classified as an offence against the civic coexistence,” said Capt. Pavel Schweiner from Department of Electronic Information Crime of Regional Police Headquarters of Olomoucký region. He further adds: “Seriousness, intensity of the “attack” is not enough to fulfil the elements of body of the offence. Especially real concerns about the safety and health of individuals are missing. There is no circumstantial evidence that pupils want or wanted to do such a thing. Their potential threat must have aroused fear of the aggrieved person of the physical attack, fear for his/her life or health. Such behaviour is relatively usual and widespread within the environment of the present social networks.”

Not every confession can certainly be classified as the offence or criminal act, whole range of discussion posts is absolutely trouble-free. Most of the analysed posts on the „confession“ websites are not motivated by a desire to share own secrets and relieve the soul, but clearly by the desire to get as many likes as possible, eventually to get feedback. Simply to be in the centre of attention... and have fun. Large amount of the posts on the confession websites is also fictional – untrue. Authors and especially authoresses of the “confessions” enjoy posting of the shocking fantasies – for example continually repeating stories about the sex between teachers and underage schoolgirls. The authoresses report several hundred of these cases every year.

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“Three months ago I slept with my boyfriend without a condom... I haven´t got a period since the I vomited the very next day and moreover I´ve put on a few kilos recently... I´ve tried a pregnancy test and I´m pregnant... I can´t tell it to my mom... I am 13... I need to advise on how I can get rid of it and make sure no one knows..”

The confessions can also be seen as a form of psychohygiene – the anonymous messages allow authors to get rid of the accumulated emotions and vent anger on through the discussion, also to have fun and perhaps... critically touch a thorny problem. Not every confession is a fiction; sometimes we can find wheat in the chaff.

If you encounter a confession aimed against you, first of all stay calm and try to think whether the author is not right a bit. Respect the freedom of speech; nonetheless do not forget that even the freedom of speech has its own boundaries. And if the writer oversteps the limits in an essential way, do not be afraid to deal with the situation.

 

For E-Bezpečí 
dr. Kamil Kopecký



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