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Confession Blogs are a type of single topic blog where people can submit confessions. While some sites require registration, most of these sites operate anonymously. On Tumblr, confession blogs are often populated by anonymous submissions and relegated to a certain topic or fandom.
As early as 1992, Usenet posters were sharing both humorous and serious confessions in newsgroups, but they were never completely anonymous. However, since Usenet posts were often tied to professional email addresses, this was not an ideal space for truly anonymous confessions. On August 22nd, 2000, the site AnonymousConfession.com was created, accepting confessions in a number of categories including real life embarrassing moments, stories of cheating on one’s significant other (shown below), true crime, work infractions and lofty wishes.
In September 2000, NotProud.com launched, categorizing confessions into the seven deadly sins. Though the site has since folded, the creators curated a number of confessions into an e-book in 2001. In September 2003, grouphug.us launched. Though site shuttered in September 2012, there are still more than 27,000 fans on Facebook. Also in 2003, the LiveJournal community _confessional was established, accruing more than 3,600 submissions and 8,200 comments as of July 2013. The confession blog PostSecret launched on January 1st, 2005, incorporating art and the physical act of mailing a postcard into the act of anonymous confessions.
As early as May 2005, anonymous confession threads inspired by PostSecret began to appear in college and university LiveJournal communities, beginning with Ohio’s Oberlin College. These threads were created in the communities for students attending UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD and Wesleyan, among others. In September 2006, the Wesleyan Argus reported on the trend, noting while some students found the anonymous venting space helpful, others found it to be a breeding ground for gossip. Some of these spilled into their own websites, known as ACBs (anonymous confession boards). Also in 2006, a confession blog for mothers to vent about their children and spouses was created. In 2008, TruuConfessions launched, grouping confessions into categories like brides, military wifes and body-related woes.
The single topic Tumblr blogconfession launched on October 19th, 2009 collecting text submissions with confessions about life in general. In September 2011, the Fuck Yeah Confession & Secret Blogs Directory was created, separating out the numerous blogs by letter as well as fandom or subculture content. Advertisement for new blogs, as posts from active blogs, can be found with the Tumblr tags “confession blog” and “confession blogs.”
The Wesleyan Argus – Anonymous confession board still alive, still controversial
The Bi-College News – The Anonymous Confession Board Culture (and AntiCulture)
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