Who knows you better than anyone? Who knows your innermost thoughts, darkest desires and deadliest addictions – your partner? Mother? Best mate?
Your girlfriend may know your collar size and your lover that thing you do with your tongue, but Google knows your browser history. And that means it knows everything. The internet never forgets.
Those cam-whores you ogled on Facebook? That Goatse image you Googled? It’s all logged. Not to mention those hentai sites you browse, the gore threads you fap to, the Craigslist ads you respond to ….yeah, you get the picture.
Make no mistake, the internet is a nosy bitch, as anyone who’s tried deleting their Facebook account will attest. You can check out any time you like but you can never leave.
While social media delves ever deeper into our private lives, prolapsing the contents in their insatiable quest for Big Data, an anonymity backlash is gathering momentum. From privacy conscious hacktivist groups to cookie-blocking browser plugins, internet anonymity has taken on many forms.
Privacy has become currency. We pay for "free" services with personal information. – Linda Doyle #ttivanguard
— John Perry Barlow (@JPBarlow) February 21, 2013
The internet at war
Battle lines have been drawn, pitting those who would have the government backdoor our apps and deeply inspect our packets ‘in the interests of national security’ against those who would rather jump behind seven proxies while sandboxed inside a VM.
But what if there were a middle ground? A means of conversing online without having to disclose your personal details and real-time GPS to the data-raping corporations?
Enter Spraffl. Yes, you spat that right the first time – Spraffl.
The product of an Edinburgh development team, Spraffl is a community-based platform that thrives on anonymity. The mobile app allows users to comment on stuff that’s happening in their area, be it a warehouse rave, car boot sale or traffic jam. Butter up the bread rolls served in your local sandwich shop; bemoan the Japanese tourists taking photos with iPads on the Royal Mile.
Bitch, moan, gossip, tattle, praise to high heaven – it’s your call. As its creators observe, ‘Spraffl is completely open – just fire straight in and start Spraffing wherever you are in the world’.
That’s right, the verb spraff can now be used in situations that don’t culminate in reaching for a packet of babywipes and closing 32 browser tabs.
Even an entry-level troll can appreciate the possibilities for mischief this presents. Without Facebook friends and relatives to placate, you’re free to spraff whatever’s on your mind: anonymously review saunas and weed prices in your area; assess the cokeability of pub toilets and discuss dogging spots. Up until now, the only means of expressing disquiet at your neighbour’s shit taste in music was by naming your wi-fi network ED SHEERAN’S 4 FAGGOTS. Now, thanks to Spraffl, you can post a quick online message without disclosing your identity.
It’s probable that Spraffl wasn’t designed for such dissolute behaviour incidentally, so don’t blame Ed Uncovered if you get perma-banned for spraffing about spaff, skanks and skag. It’s not that kind of an app – Spraffl’s classier than that, in spite of what internet bloggers might insinuate to the contrary.
Beta as fuck
A social media platform is only as good as its community of course. Spraffl is currently in beta, which in this case can be translated as ‘until enough people start using it’.
At present, the app is available on iPhone, with an Android version in the works. Unfortunately I don’t have a $500 pocket Facebook machine because I blew my trust fund on coke and when my bitch-ass dad found out he froze my allowance. If you’re part of the iPhone master race however, you can check out Spraffl here for free. Download the app and help to expand the Spraffl community.
When did you last spraff?
For more information visit spraffl.com
Follow @whisperednothin ⇦ Ed Uncovered on Twitter.