What is the Tellonym app?

Tellonym app logo

Created in 2016, by three students, Tellonym is an anonymous messaging app that lets users ask and answer questions from registered and non-registered users.

What is the Tellonym app?

Tellonym is an anonymous app that encourages users to ask others’ questions. Then, Tellonym users respond to the Tells (messages) publicly.

Created in 2016, the Tellonym app is still used by many worldwide.

How does Tellonym work?

Screenshot of Tellonym app via the app store.
Tellonym users can receive anonymous messages through the platform which are called Tells. Every Tell is sent and received to the recipient’s private inbox, which no one else can see. Then, only if a user decides to answer a Tell, both the original Tell and the answer becomes visible to other users.

The Tellonym app can also connect with Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. As such, there is less control for where or who Tells come from.

What are the risks of using the app?

With any online messaging app or platform, there are several potential risks that come with it. Risks on Tellonym include cyberbullying and abuse, sexting and inappropriate content.

As the app’s main function is to connect with others anonymously, there is greater risk for harm. Additionally, stopping the source of unwanted messages becomes more difficult.

While Tellonym has an age rating of 17+ on the Apple App Store and a Teen rating on the Google Play Store, the platform says users must be over the age of majority in their country or have parental consent. However, even with parental consent, some features are limited to users aged 17 and over.

What safety features does Tellonym have?

There are several privacy and safety features available with Tellonym. Some are easier than others to use while others require some set up.

Tellonym has the following controls you can apply with your teen:

  • Language Filters: Tells pass through automated language filters. You can set its strength.
  • Custom Word Filter: Users can manually add words to restrict questions that feature those words. This is helpful if a user wants to avoid trigger words around self-harm, wellbeing and more.
  • Tells from Registered Users: By default, anyone can send an anonymous Tell. However, users can restrict Tells to registered users only.
  • Reporting: Users can report Tells, answers and profiles. If you report something that isn’t removed, contact [email protected].
  • Blocking: Users can block individual profiles as well as non-registered senders.

Visit Tellonym’s help centre for instructions on how to use these features.

How can parents keep children safe?

It’s important to remember that Tellonym recommends the app for those over 18. While you can provide permission for your child to use the service if they’re under this age, doing so opens them up to more risk.

If your teen is 17+ or you believe they’ve reached a point where they can use it, consider the following to keep them safe.

Talk about what they share

Help your teen think about what they share online and who sees it. Compare it to what they would be happy to share offline. Remind them that they shouldn’t share private things, such as:

  • Personal information, like names, emails, phone numbers, location, and school names
  • Other people’s personal information
  • Links to join private group chats
  • Photos of themselves
  • Photos of their body, such as sexual photos or videos

Have regular conversations

Talking to your child about what is going on online and offline and risks will help them gain an understanding and develop their digital resilience. Our advice and tips can help you start these conversations.

Review privacy settings

Work with them to set up their privacy settings on Tellonym. Talk through the importance of each feature and come to an agreement on what the settings should look like. Down the line, revisit them based on experience and age.

Parental controls document

See step-by-step guides for setting up parental controls and safety settings across social media platforms.

See parental controls

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