Is Oblivi­ate an ‘abuser’s char­ter’?

Computer Active (UK) - - Let­ters -

I read out your rec­om­men­da­tion for the free app Oblivi­ate (Issue 523, page 44) to my hus­band, who was in IT for 30 years. I’d been think­ing how use­ful the app could be, but he saw it in a quite dif­fer­ent light, as an “abuser’s char­ter”. It could in­deed be used to bully and frighten peo­ple, while leav­ing no ev­i­dence be­hind. What do you think? Su­san Plat­ter

CA says We can see where’s Su­san’s hus­band is com­ing from, but you can’t use Oblivi­ate to send mes­sages to any­one. Both sender and re­ceiver need to have the app in­stalled, and be on each other’s con­tact list. This pre­vents peo­ple abus­ing it to send anony­mous mes­sages. Like the sim­i­lar Snapchat, used by over 170 mil­lion (mostly young) peo­ple ev­ery day, it’s a use­ful way to send a sen­si­tive mes­sage that needs to be seen by just one per­son for a short period of time.

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