Next NYU Secrets admin should be public


Matthew Tessler, Deputy Opinion Editor

The next NYU Secrets administrator has been selected, but this individual should not remain
anonymous — his or her name must be made public with secret number 9,001. The original NYU Secrets administrator, Aristo Orginos, was unmasked against his will, but that does not mean the next person should stay in the shadows. The anonymity of NYU Secrets allows it to thrive, but releasing the individual’s name would maintain the level of trust that currently exists between the administrator and students. In the past few months the page has continued to grow, proving that it can thrive even with a public administrator. This step toward transparency would benefit the NYU Secrets community as a whole.

Orginos plans to end the original NYU Secrets page at 9,000 posts because he feels the page “became more and more of a job and less and less of a passion.” In an effort to keep the community alive, he has personally selected a successor and given his full support to the new page. In a cautionary move to keep the identities of those behind the original 9,000 secrets hidden, an entirely new page has been created. This makes complete sense. All the secrets are attached to their owner by the message or email sent to the administrator, and handing off those names to an untested administrator would be unwise.

Once the title is handed off, the risk of exposure for those who submit will begin again. The secrets will start flowing in and the administrator will soon have a huge collection of names associated with secrets. It is impossible to know whether this new administrator can be
trusted — despite the vetting process Orginos implemented. If the new administrationever exposed the new confessors, only Orginos would know who leaked the names. The community would respond by abandoning the
page, but the administrator could not be
held accountable.

The best way to protect the anonymity of the confessors is for the administrator to give up theirs. This will give the public collateral in exchange for trusting someone with its secrets. Though the task is burdensome, the privilege and responsibility of running the page should come with the individual’s credibility at stake. Such a responsibility can only be properly maintained if the result of malfeasance is the wrath of the entire community.

Leaking the identities of the NYU Secrets submitters would be a major issue for the entire community. While this community is founded on the trust placed in the administrator, it is unwise to have that much faith in an anonymous person. The next head of NYU Secrets must recognize the importance of the trust users place in the page’s security. Knowing the name of the administrator would provide much-needed reassurance.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Feb. 23 print edition. Email Matthew Tessler at [email protected].