The anonymous gossip app Secret has caused a lot of controversy over the past few months with many suggesting it’s leading to harassment, bullying and lots of bitchy gossip. We didn’t really expect anything less from an app seemingly built to nurture harassment, bullying and lots of bitchy gossip, but it looks like a Brazilian judge has had enough, as he wants the troublesome app removed from all app stores ASAP.
According to Engadget, the determined judge doesn’t just want the app stripping from local Google and Apple app stores, but he also wants it removed from devices in Brazil, too. He’s allegedly given the tech giants 10 days to take action or they’ll be facing fines.
So will they take action? Well, it’s unclear at the moment. The fines aren’t particularly high, like £5,000 roughly, but it is technically possible to block software already installed on handsets and of course remove apps from their respective app stores in local areas. The thing is, Apple and Google only tend to take such extreme action where there’s a security or privacy threat. Brazil’s Constitution has some very clear rules when it comes to anonymous attacks (it doesn’t like them, not at all), but the tech firms could contest the ruling given the fact users aren’t completely anonymous – the makers of Secret know who people are – and removing the app could hurt the country’s freedom of expression.
We’ll keep you posted about whether Secret is actually stripped from app stores and devices at the end of the 10 days or not. But whatever happens the outcome could certainly set a precedent for how anonymous apps can be banned and controlled by countries in the future. And we’re not sure whether that’s a great or a terrible thing…