- Four students at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., have built a Facebook page that posts anonymous compliments and words of encouragement to fellow students.
The Facebook profile Queens U Compliments was created just last week and copycat pages inspired by the idea of students saying nice things about each other online have appeared at several U.S. colleges, such as Columbia, Brown and Stanford.
The Facebook account's about page explains how it works:
"Inbox a compliment for a Queen's student and have it published anonymously. So if there is something nice you have to say about someone but don't feel comfortable saying it to their face, inbox away. Your name will be kept anonymous."
Queens U Compliments posts the compliments as Facebook statuses, with tags to let people know that someone is saying something nice about them.
- In an interview with Time, the page's founders - Rachel Albi, Erica Gagne, Jessica Jonker, and Amanda Smurthwaite - said they were inspired by school-wide initiatives about mental health awareness and anti-bullying.
Last year, six students died as a result of suicides and accidents on campus.
"We thought [Queen's U Compliments] was a really great way to help students help other students," said Smurthwaite.
- The anonymous compliments page is kind of the opposite of Honesty Box, a Facebook app you can install to let people leave comments on your wall anonymously. "An application that lets you see what your friends think about you," it claims.
Unfortunately, a lot of Facebook cyberbullying happens on Honesty Box, too. So, Queens U Compliments explicitly states, "hateful or rude remarks will be completely disregarded."
- Queens U Compliments currently has over 4,500 friends, just shy of the Facebook maximum of 5,000.
"We don’t know what we’re going to do. We want to make t-shirts or something, maybe congratulate our 5,000th friend," Jonker told Time.
The idea has caught on south of the border, especially at Ivy League schools like Columbia...
- ...and Princeton.
- Now it seems that every school wants one.
- And word is spreading even to Europe and elsewhere overseas, too.