For years, anonymous posting platforms have seen huge success. These platforms provide virtual communities that enable users to post whatever they feel or think while still hiding behind the veil of anonymity. Due to the pandemic, the student community usually present at Boston College has been greatly diminished.
In a typical year, it has been easy for students to express their shared value of community at BC. Whether it be through football tailgates, on campus events such as ALC Showdown, or Thursday nights in packed bars, students have always held shared experiences close to their hearts. However, the pandemic has posed new challenges to school spirit and community on the Heights. With the inability to interact with one another on campus, students have turned to the anonymous posting app: Herrd.
Herrd is a virtual platform developed by Boston College graduates Isaiah Matheiu and Carter Beaulieu. With Herrd, users can anonymously post, as well as upvote or downvote other posts, which makes for an entertaining, funny, and creative community experience. Herrd acts as a way for students to communicate through memes, photos, and posts. Herrd has even recently added a Direct Message feature on the app. The co-founders hope to eventually expand to other universities across the country. This year especially, the popularity of Herrd has been on the rise. Activity on the app has heavily increased during UGBC elections, course registration, and the mandatory webinars on racial justice.
What makes Herrd so successful is something that has bonded humans since the beginning of time: shared experiences and common enemies. As a collective representation of the student body, Herrd users post about a variety of things ranging from discontent with the administration to funny memes about the UGBC election. Some of the largest trends on Herrd include discussions of Molly the dog’s owner, frequent asymptomatic COVID-19 testing reminders from Dr. Douglas Comeau in our email inboxes, and the creation of “Club Kevork”(officially known as BC After Dark, a dining option that opened in Hillside Cafe during Spring 2021).
While the majority of the posts are memes, Herrd occasionally has a serious side as well. During the late March mandatory webinars on community expectations which intended to address racial injustices and hate crimes on campus, people were using Herrd to “live tweet” about what was going on, with many expressing disappointment and discontent with the administration's empty promises. In this way, Herrd has the potential to serve as both a fun social media platform as well as a real force for change.
The benefit of anonymity on Herrd is that it allows students to share whatever they want without fear of judgement or ridicule. The account is connected to students’ BC emails, which the founders believe provides a sort of “second thought” phenomenon when it comes to students posting things that violate their terms of service. In general, Herrd is an accepting local platform for students to post in good fun. In addition, it provides the community aspect that so many students have been longing for. Herrd has seen massive success on our campus and hopes to expand their range across the country. For now, Boston College students get to enjoy the unique experience of posting anonymously to the entire student body.