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What Are Your Kids Confessing Online?

Facebook pages set up for "confessions" mean local high school students are sharing their most embarrassing moments and darkest secrets anonymously.

The following story comes with a warning: if you don't want to know about the secret lives of teenagers, then turn away now.

If you do, you might just be able to get an idea by browsing through the anonymous postings on Facebook pages set up for local high schoolers and college students to share their burdens.

Although the trend only began catching on locally in the first weeks of 2013, the Facebook page Moraga Confessions has already accumulated over 1,000 "likes" and a wall full of more than 250 embarrassing moments, secret habits and bad language. Imitations have followed, including pages for Lafayette and Acalanes High and Danville, both of which attribute the idea to Moraga, according to posts on the Moraga Confessions wall.

The pages are run anonymously, and are intended for students of local high schools and colleges, according to the "about" descriptions.

Other nearby cities have followed too, including Concord and Piedmont.

Confessions span drug use, sexual activity, crushes and pranks. Users submit their confessions through an online form, and the Facebook page manager posts them online — all anonymously. Page visitors can respond to confessions by commenting on the post.

Some of the confessions, if true, may have serious implications. In one case on the Concord page, a user has posted that they want to kill themselves. Another post accuses a teacher of taking drugs (referred to as "rolling," which means tripping on ecstasy, according to UrbanDictionary.com.)

Clayton Valley High joined in on the action in mid-January with Clayton Valley Confessions, but it seems that no one has posted yet.

So far, no other pages seem to have been made for other local cities such as Martinez, Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill.

Facebook's privacy settings allow page creators and administrators to remain hidden from other users, making it difficult to find out who is operating anonymous pages. The downside is that anonymous pages are public and can therefore be read by anyone on Facebook.

As the "Concord Confessions" administrator said in a comment on the page, there is no way to make the pages private. "I would have to make a group and then it would say who the admin is which would not be good," the anonymous page owner posted.

Do you think the "confessions" pages are harmless, or should they be taken down? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Al January 28, 2013 at 06:25 PM
It's because lamorinda is now completely full of a bunch of liberals who want to think that Morgan is some utopia. If anything this page should show us how much of an amazing community we have. These kids might do some stupid stuff in high school, but the reality is that the tight knit community allows people to actually learn from what they did. Look, the amazing thing about campo is that academically it's harder than most schools, and socially they party as hard as college kids do. THAT'S why 95% of graduates succeed. So don't worry about the kids smoking pot or drinking way too much. When it comes time for college I would trust a campo kid who smoked pot every day over some straight As person who never drank at all. Reason being that sheltered straight A student has no life experience, that pot head on the other hand has a lot more, when that person faces a challenge in college they will be much better equipped to handle it than the other student. So lets just all relax and start laughing at these confessions pages, because the reality is that people from Campo are so successful because of all of these stupid experiences from high school that they learned from
Dive Turn Work January 28, 2013 at 06:41 PM
Possibly the dumbest comment I've read since Bill Clinton's "I didn't inhale" nonsense.
Trenton Gregory January 28, 2013 at 08:52 PM
Maby that above comment was for the page "DRUG REHAB" :(
lovelafayette January 28, 2013 at 08:59 PM
These pages ARE very similar to the cell phone conversations that the speaker assumes is private while they are shouting, or being the carpool driver when kids just forget about you and share things unfit for adult ears! I assume the police, schools and parents are monitoring these pages. Disgusting as many of the posts are there are a few that could be serious calls for help (bullying, despair, sexuality), others that point to a need for more health education, and the really stupid ones where kids admit to crimes. I believe the student hosts have good intentions, but their parents and the school psychologist need to impress upon them that giving a forum for students to bare their souls comes wth the potential baggage of feeling responsible for any bad outcomes.
C.K January 29, 2013 at 09:03 PM
As someone who is *somewhat* involved in this page, it's my opinion that (as evidenced by comments and submissions) the students have demonstrated reasonable levels of maturity regarding some of the more serious posts. Posts of quasi-libelous nature are somewhat moderated to avoid "bad outcomes." Interestingly, it would seem that the page has become mainly a forum for "humorous" (and sometimes spurious) anecdotes intended to entertain, as opposed to actual confessions. I would say that for the most part the students understand this and read with a grain of salt. As for the calls for help, due to the anonymous nature of the posts, there's not that much you can expect the student hosts to do. However a contact list for various hotlines, help centers, and counseling has been added to the "info" section of the page.

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