You have probably heard of Thiscrush or This Crush, and not exactly with positive connotations. We explain what it is and how it works.
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What is Thiscrush?
Some experts say that Thiscrush is one of the most dangerous social networks that exist and relate it to terms such as sexual harassment or cyberbullying . However, are these risks real
? To what extent does the platform guarantee the minor’s anonymity?
What we know about this social network is that it was launched in 2017, although it was developed several months earlier. It is based in Israel, although it could operate from anywhere in the world.
To know what Thiscrush is, we must define the Anglo-Saxon term “crush”, which could be translated as “platonic love” or “crush”. As you can guess, one of the objectives of This Crush is to guarantee that users declare themselves to other people protected by a certain anonymity, although it offers the possibility of showing the real name. Beyond that, it presents the typical characteristics of any social network.
The operation is really simple, and then we expose the risks that this entails.
- To learn more: Crush and Instant Crush: What is it and what does it mean.
Is the Thiscrush network so dangerous?
As some media have collected, the average age of users in Thiscrush is between 12 and 20 years old , a very young target audience that contrasts with the one specified in the terms and conditions of use that we can read on the web.
In a series of security instructions that we can read on the official page, which also refer to harassment, it is specified that users must be at least 18 years old or browse under parental control. Obviously, those responsible for the social network cannot know if the data entered by the user is true. For this reason, they summon parents to control the use that their children make of the networks, exempting themselves from any guilt.
As a result of the lack of control over users and the anonymity provided by the social network, any user can send a message to another . That means an open door to cases of harassment and cyberbullying, which have multiplied exponentially.
A real case of cyberbullying
In December 2017, a boy and a girl aged 15 and 16 respectively were investigated by the Civil Guard of Tenerife. According to the police statement, the victim was a young minor who was insulted, harassed and threatened with death in Thiscrush. The young men were classmates of the victim and used an anonymous profile to direct their attacks at the girl. The Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office took charge of the case, although there was no official reaction from those responsible for the platform.
As we can see, Thiscrush has arrived in Spain. It is suspected that there are thousands of minor users with a profile on this network, although there is no study to confirm this point.
How does Thiscrush work?
There are several keys to understanding the rise of this website. One of them is the easy registration process to obtain an anonymous profile.
First of all, we must fill out a brief form that does not offer any type of verification or verification. In other words: to obtain an account it is only necessary to specify a pseudonym and a password , which, yes, must be sufficiently secure. The terms and conditions are in English, and therefore are not understandable for most users (remember that the average age is between 12 and 20 years).
As far as the interface is concerned, it is quite simple and reminds us of other social networks from a few years ago, such as Ask.fm or Yandel., where there were also some cases of harassment. Once the “crushtag” is created, all we have to do is share it on other social networks like Facebook or Instagram so that others can send us their comments and “crushlikes”.
Thiscrush homepage. | Image from: Social networks.
Another very important fact is that all the content that is published is the sole and exclusive responsibility of its author , something that would not be serious if there were a team of people who filtered said content, but there is not. Instead, there is the option to report a comment using a button.
In the event that the developers detect an episode of cyberbullying, they ensure that the user will bepunished with the cancellation of the account from two weeks to a month . It is a fairly inconsequential punishment, since that person can re-register with another pseudonym or with another email.
The website also has its own app, both for Apple phones and Android devices. However, it seems that the application is not very successful and the reviews about it are quite negative. In addition, advertising in this type of app is usually very invasive and the user ends up deleting it from their phone.
The developers’ goal may have been very different, but opening such a platform entails a series of risks that should not be taken lightly. It is true that other networks such as Facebook or Twitter do not guarantee the integrity of the user and allow, to a certain extent, to act anonymously, but these networks have a large team of professionals who regulate the various communication channels.
Thiscrush is a young network with little potential that cannot guarantee basic security conditions. For this reason, we recommend the use of other more secure networks and always act with caution in our online communications. In any case, it seems that this platform is destined to fall into oblivion networks in a few months.
In a case of cyberbullying, it is advisable to go to the authorities and report what happened so that they can implement the appropriate action protocol. Secondly, it is recommended to cut off any kind of connection or bond with the stalker and delete the social network profile if necessary.
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