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Twanker: a tool for cyber-tools? Featured

As if there weren't enough online opportunities to be nasty to your acquaintances, here comes Twanker.

A new iOS app called Twanker "gives you the power to single out your friends, family and even the unsuspecting public who take their obsession with themselves just too far," according to Michael Jansen, self-described "official Twanker."

That sounds to us too much like an invitation to commit cyberbullying.

Research published by ACMA earlier this year found that 14 and 15 year olds are the most likely to be subjected to cyberbullying.

The app works by either taking a photo or selecting an existing shot and adding a snarky caption. The result is saved and posted it to the user's Facebook timeline and Twitter feed.

What happened to "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all"?

According to Mr Jansen, Twanker was designed and built by Melbourne-based DigitalTreeHouse. According to the app's entry in the App Store it is being 'sold' (it's a free app) by Vladimir Bilyov, and copyrighted by Gary Trammer & Vladimir Bilyov.

Mr Jansen said "I built the app so that she [Mr Jansen's girlfriend] could have a cathartic outlet without using me – and I have no problems being publicly spotlighted."

Apple clearly has some concerns about the app, as it is in the 17+ category for "Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity".

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.

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