Wall Street Protests Use App to Coordinate Anonymously

Wall Street Protests Use App to Coordinate Anonymously

Occupy Wall Street protesters are turning to an iPhone app to share photos, videos and commentary anonymously, in an effort to use mobile technology to coordinate their demonstrations.

“Go,” the first product from app maker Hollr, lets people stream media and post in real-time. Users can also locate tagged posts on a map aided by GPS.

What separates Go from other social media sharing apps, however, is its ability to hide a poster’s name and identity. Unlike apps which simplify authentication via Facebook or Twitter, Go lets users skip self-authentication entirely, allowing them to post as “anonymous.”

Anonymous posting may appeal to users involved in Occupy Wall Street protests occurring in Manhattan and around the nation. Occupy protestors have taken to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to cover protest-related events. In some cases, photos and videos of police actions and protest footage are instantly shared and circulated well before media outlets are even on the scene.

Protestors have spread their message under the radar of mainstream media and law enforcement via other apps and sites as well. A new mobile app, “Vibe,” also lets users register anonymously and erases messages soon after they’re posted. On the web, many protestors post text, images, video and audio to micro-blogging site Tumblr, which has gained a unique following through the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Go’s main appeal over other solutions may be its ability to post visual media as easily as text and its attractive, easy-to-use interface. Go went live on November 11 without much fanfare, but the app already landed several videos and commentary from Occupy Wall Street on the web.

Go offers non-nonsense functionality in the form of simple commands like “snap” to post a photo, “shoot” to share video and “speak” to record audio. But, it’s significance probably reaches beyond those functions when it comes to giving anonymity to protestors who prefer to speak for a collective movement rather than in an individual voice.

How well that anonymity transfers to other, everyday situations may determine whether Go can continue its success after Wall Street protesters go home.

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