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SXSW features social apps preaching the joys of anonymity

Hans Neleman | Stone | Getty Images

Several apps debuting at this year's SXSW are betting that users will share certain things in secret, and that anonymity will allow users to present grittier, friskier—and perhaps more honest—versions of themselves.

A surreptitious Twitter-like app called Secret is hot in Silicon Valley now. It allows users to share messages anonymously with a network of friends. This has freed some users to build feeds filled with tech gossip and trash talk. Well-known tech industry folks are publicly named and ridiculed by unknown aggressors. Booty calls are not uncommon on similar app Whisper, which combines anonymous messaging with location information.

There is some darkness to this—some have already confessed to leaving apps like Secret, claiming disgust with the relentless negativity. But these apps also may give people a means to speak in a manner too raw for Twitter and Facebook.

To read the full story on Re/code, click here.

By Matt Isaac, Re/code.net.

CNBC's parent NBC Universal is an investor in Re/code's parent Revere Digital, and the companies have a content-sharing arrangement.

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  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

  • Cadie Thompson is a tech reporter for the Enterprise Team for CNBC.com.

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