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  • Writer's pictureWendy Hayden

Snitches Get...Blocked!

“I’m telling…” Remember saying that when you were young?

Snitch tagging is a trend that traps victims in a whirlwind of insulting content. An unsuspecting victim is innocently scrolling online and gets a notification about a piece of potentially damaging content. The comment including the snitch tag is meant to provoke the victim into seeing the content that they should have never known about. Ignorance is bliss, but when you’re smacked in the face with hurtful comments, you can’t help but wonder why you couldn’t have just stayed oblivious. 

Imagine telling a coworker directly to their face all of their quirks that irk you. The embarrassment you would face on a daily basis would be unbearable. Stitch tagging is the online equivalent of walking straight up to your coworker, telling them how much you despise them, then having the rest of your coworkers gather around to share their thoughts, good or bad. In an office setting, walking away from the situation is much easier than an online community ready to cancel you on a moment’s notice. 

Snitch tagging someone in the comments of content not meant for them can destroy relationships within a matter of minutes. You’re left wondering how someone could think so low of you that they want to cause you all of the pain that the original creator wanted to spare you from. They may claim innocence, but they took the time to watch or read the content, find your username, then tag you, unraveling the person you thought you knew. 

Freedom of speech does not equal freedom from consequences. Sitting behind a phone or computer isn’t enough anymore to stay anonymous. Technology has advanced to the point where users are crowdsourcing information to find the snitch tagger and call them out. Snitch tagging is viewed as an act of cowardice that will garner more enemies than friends. The internet is ruthless when it comes to calling people out, so when you snitch tag, you’re running the risk of facing the consequences. 

Snitch tagging can be considered harassment. Creating an argument, especially with a creator that has a large follower count, encourages mass criticism. Notifications of hate may fill the creator’s page and create an unsafe environment for someone who just wanted a safe space to vent.

Curbing the impulse to snitch tag is simple. Just scroll past the content or add your own view on the topic. Advance the dialogue by starting a meaningful discussion in the comments or write your own post. 

Tags have many helpful uses. They can help reach a company when you fall in love with their product or service and want to let them know. A strategic tag can bring friends and family close over a shared subject. Tags have been successful in reaching celebrities to share favorite moments. TikTok has an issue with users reposting videos and not crediting the original creator. Tags can be used to draw attention to the original creator’s account and give them the credit they deserve. Tags should never be used as a tool to create a dramatic event that could ruin a life. 


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