In what may be a new record (?), recently launched anonymous emailing service Leak has already crashed and burned. Or, at least, the service has been temporarily suspended while its creators figure out how to port it over infrastructure better designed for the purpose at hand.
In case you missed it: Leak rolled out in late July as something of a side project from French entrepreneurs Laurent Desserrey and Sébastien Thiriet who, inspired by the anonymous app Secret, but lacking a Secret community in Paris at the time, decided to offer their own take on anonymous sharing – in their case, via email.
With Leak, you could send anonymous emails to anyone’s address, while also giving them a hint about your relationship with them by identifying yourself as a “friend,” “co-worker,” etc. before sending your message.
And yes, Desserrey admitted that he knew there were dozens of anonymous emailing websites already in existence – but he thought the experiences they offered, well, “sucked,” as he put it.
Leak first emerged on Product Hunt, and was later picked up by a number of press outlets, including TechCrunch, but also Digg, The Next Web, Business Insider, Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post, Daily Dot, and more.
But, apparently for Leak, the attention was too much of a good thing.
As explained in a follow-up post linked to from the now-defunct Leak website, the founders had first built Leak on top of the Mandrill (MailChimp) API, got suspended, then moved over to SendGrid, and were soon kicked off that service too. Now they’re looking for help to bring Leak back, according to the blog post. However, they have no ETA at this point on when that might be.
Leak is one of many new services that emerged in the post-Snowden era which focus on social sharing without attaching your identity to the content. Similar to Leak, apps like Whisper and Secret, offering native mobile services for posting your private thoughts and opinions without personal consequence, but some of these have also suffered from pushback from those who do feel the repercussions of their existence. You see, removing one’s identity makes it easy for people to tap into their baser natures, and rampant trolling has occurred on a number of services, including those targeted at teens like Ask.fm which ended up being indirectly responsible for some half-dozen teen suicides.
Hey, maybe we don’t need Leak to return, after all?