Accounts on the attack



A surge of RUHS Instagram accounts have emerged — some funny and some hateful. The accounts range from those that post pictures of the school’s bathrooms to gossip accounts to students making fun of their peers’ style and, in some cases, gender identity. 

“I thought it would be funny to feature students who are short throughout our school,” said John, the anonymous owner of an account that features short people. Much of John’s content, as with other similar accounts, is sent to him by other students through Instagrams’ direct messaging system.

According to John, the photos students send are mostly of their friends and with no harm done. 

“In some cases when I feel like [the students in the photos] don’t feel comfortable, I personally ask them or DM them if they want the post taken down,” John said. 

However, each account has a different purpose. One has a link to the site Tellonym, which allows students to send things to the owner of the account anonymously. The account-owner then screenshots these messages and posts them on their page. These messages contain mostly negative comments about other students. One student named Jane, who has chosen to remain anonymous, was the target of one of these messages. 

“It was really messed up,” Jane said. For Jane, the initial post on the account was only the start. She took a screenshot of the post regarding and two other “random” posts, meaning to send it to a friend from another school, but accidentally posted it on her story. Jane deleted it, but not before someone saw it and rumors began to spread that she was the owner of the account. From there, Jane began getting death threats and threats of people saying that they were going to jump her.

“First of all, I am gonna post, me, that stuff about myself?” Jane said. According to Jane, even now, after things have calmed down, she still does not feel safe around campus and has skipped school out of fear. 

Hateful accounts don’t seem to stop, as there was another one targeting students who dress in the “goth” or “grunge” style.

Junior Anne Ibrahim (they/them) messaged the account after seeing a post of themselves, to which the account responded “new species spotted,” referring to Ibrahim being non-binary. Half an hour later, Ibrahim saw a post dedicated to themselves. 

“I have really thick skin, but I’m really upset with how the account treats other people. It might affect [the students being posted about] seriously in the long term,” Ibrahim said. 

Ibrahim received lots of different feedback from the post. 

“I got people either misgendering me or overly using my pronouns. They rephrased their sentences just so they could prove they acknowledge my gender. It was weird, actually,” Ibrahim said. 

After its post regarding Ibrahim, the account received lots of attention and was taken down a few days later. 

“I think the RUHS accounts were funny at first,” Ibrahim said, “but I honestly knew someone was gonna bring a hateful approach to it.”