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Online Obscurities: Confessions and Secret Admirer Admins Talk Logistics

When Bradley students have a secret crush, embarrassing story or otherwise clandestine thought, where does a Brave turn?
The anonymity of the internet.
Bradley has its own covert secret-sharing sites in action this school year, namely the two Facebook pages “BU Confessions” and “BU Secret Admirer 2”. Secrets are submitted on a survey tool site in an open-ended question style, cleared by the administrators (admins) and posted to the Facebook page.
Because the survey tool site, Survey Monkey, does not require a name, every secret-sharer remains anonymous.
And because the numerous posts come through the page and not a personal Facebook site, the admins remain anonymous too.
“We probably get 25 to 60 post requests per day,” one of the admins for BU Confessions said. “But we usually check every other day.”
BU Confessions has two moderators who have managed the page since its inception in April 2013. The BU Secret Admirer 2 was created earlier in November in reaction to the first Bradley Secret Admirer page’s absence during the fall 2013 semester.
“I started this page initially to see if anyone would like it,” said the BU Secret Admirer 2 admin said. “I know there was previously a [Bradley Secret Admirer] page, and I wanted to create another one so I could help out the first page.”
But according to both sets of admins, no one expected either page to take off like they did, with more than 1,100 people “liking” BU Confessions and nearly 1,000 “likes” on BU Secret Admirer 2.
“I didn’t promote the page or anything, and within the next day, I had 500 likes from random Bradley students,” said the BU Secret Admirer 2 admin said.
Each page has its own purpose: BU Secret Admirer 2 lets people post about secret (or not so secret) crushes, and BU Confessions serves to allow Braves to tell stories or thoughts that they may not be able to share with anyone, like “I carry around a bag of trail mix so I can feed the squirrels 24/7.”
However, that means more work for the admins of the pages, as they sort through the submissions before posting to ensure that the posts fit their rules.
“Usually if they mention a specific name we don’t post them, but some get through,” said one of the BU Confessions admins said. “Others are just dumb and not actually confessions. If you want to complain about your life go to the counseling center, and if you want to talk about a girl or guy you like, go to [the] Secret Admirer [page].”
The BU Confessions admin also said that with the sometimes embarrassing content of its posts, some students forget to maintain their anonymity.
“Quite a few people message their confessions to us, and it’s always funny because then we know who [they] are,” the admin said.
In weeding out inappropriate posts, the BU Secret Admirer 2 admin said he/she looks for “rude or hurtful” comments that might make the “crushee” of the post uncomfortable, in addition to profanity. Each admin team said they do not post five to 10 posts of the ones they receive daily.
The pages aren’t without other problems as well, with each set of admins noting that they received negative messages about their pages in the past.
“I’ve received a few emails that weren’t too happy with the page, saying how I should run my site,” the BU Secret Admirer 2 admin said. “On the other hand, there have been a few great people who message me and gave me great advice.”
Both sets of admins said their anonymity is as important as their posters’ is. They said at some point in the future when they graduate, they’ll need to pass down the passwords to suitable successors.
But for now, the fun remains in their hands.
“I love social media, and I’m always on Facebook or other sites,” the BU Secret Admirer 2 admin said.  “I just wanted to see what it’s like behind the scenes [so I] created this page. Besides some of the hate mail or bad posts, I really do enjoy running this page.”

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