By Hadley Barndollar, Contributing Writer
University of New Hampshire senior Mary Markos was simply scrolling through her daily social media — after a friend alerted her of a certain post — when a familiar face stared back at her from her phone screen.
On an app called “Fade,” Markos saw a picture of her missing school ID, with crude comments objectifying her physical appearance.
While many of the comments were especially explicit, the initial, less-graphic post read, “Mary Markos, you’re a smoke.”
The Fade app is ultimately an online bulletin board for college students to post photos. Each user is allowed to post one anonymous photo per day. Photos posted run the full gamut, from funny memes, to drunken mishaps, to naked women.
The more “ups” a photo receives from users, the longer it stays on the app; hence Fade’s slogan, “Nothing lasts forever.”
Fade’s website reads, “Fade lets you share the most epic pics without the fear of regret! This is NOT your mother’s social app.”
Most mothers would be appalled, considering much of Fade’s celebrity has stemmed from the abundance of nude photos of college-aged women. Many claim that these photos are posted by angry ex-boyfriends or the girls themselves, trying to boost their confidence with the comments from app users.
After the experience of seeing her face on the app, Mary Markos felt strongly about what message the app had sent to the current generation.
“Anonymous posts on Fade provide a false confidence for cowards that hide behind their computer screens,” Markos said. “This app creates an opportunity to post anything without being held accountable, including naked pictures girls post of themselves so guys can comment on their bodies and rate their ‘hotness’ to boost their non-existent self-esteem.”
Many have joined the protest against Fade regarding the growing issues of sexual harassment and objectification of women.
“Fade is one example of how social media embodies various forms of sexual harassment and disgusting images/commentary that has become widely accepted by our generation,” Markos said.
Junior Julianna Raffa deleted the app only one day after downloading it.
“I’ve seen naked girls and photos of excessive drinking. It was uncomfortable,” Raffa said. “I deleted it after having it for a day because it was all nude photos and beer.”
Raffa does lend credit that the app was initially a clever idea.
“I think the concept is cool, but it’s definitely misused.”
Ironically, Fade’s website includes a “Terms of Service” tab that has a rather alarming section.
“Keep it clean. Do not upload, post or circulate any content that: is illegal or unlawful, is threatening, tortious, defamatory, libelous, indecent, pornographic or obscene, is extremely violent, promotes self-harm, or is cruel to people or animals, attacks or demeans other individuals or groups of people based on any facet of their identity: race or ethnic origin, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation, discloses sensitive information about another person or invades another person’s privacy.”
A quite paradoxical collection of claims, none of these reflect the true content of the app. This “ultimate app for college life” that “defines your campus” is just simply not that. It’s all fun and games until you see your own picture pop up.