Frequently Asked Questions

Last edited: Mar 04, 2021

How-tos for using AnonymityBot in Slack

Table of Contents

👻 How to Post Anonymously in Slack

An anonymous Slack message looks like this:

Anonymous Message

You can send anonymous Slack channel messages in four ways:

  1. Type /anon <text> (e.g. /anon Hello World!), click on Post Anonymously ,click on Continue and Post.
  2. Type /anon, click on Post Anonymously (or simply type /anon post), choose a channel, write a message , click on Continue and Post.
  3. Selecting Post Anonymously from AnonymityBot's Slack Home (click on @AnonymityBot).
  4. Click the ⚡ (shortcuts button) and choose Post Anonymously.

The anonymous message modal allows you to choose a channel and type your anonymous message. Note that you can also use slack formatting for channel or user mentions and emojis:

Anonymous Message Flow

Authors that belong to a Slack usergroup (e.g. Engineering) will have the option to display it.

Authors can choose to omit the OP reply pseudonym when they reply.

Clicking on Continue brings up the Message Preview modal, where you can see how your anonymous message would render in Slack:

Anonymous Message Preview

📊 How to Poll and Vote Anonymously in Slack

Anonymous polls, where both pollster and voter are anonymous, remove most of the prevailing biases and brings us closer to the truth. Learn more by reading our blog post.

An anonymous Slack poll looks like this:

Anonymous Poll

Voting can be done by simply selecting an option. One user one vote. Users can change their selection.

You can poll anonymously in Slack in three ways:

  1. Type /anon poll, choose a channel, type a topic and options and click on Poll.
  2. Type /anon, click on Poll Anonymously (or simply type /anon poll).
  3. Click the ⚡ (shortcuts button) and choose Poll Anonymously.

Create a new Anonymous Poll

Authors that belong to a Slack usergroup (e.g. Engineering) will have the option to display it.

Polls with non-anonymous authors can be achieved by hitting the Mention you as poll author option.

🌈 How to Give Karma Anonymously in Slack

Simply click on the 🌈 Karma selection box and choose your preference. You can give Karma on posts, replies, polls and whispers.

Anonymous Karma Selection

The Karma score is the sum of all Karma votes. Votes are on the basis of "One man, one vote". Users can change their Karma selection.

When the Karma score is below the threshold ( 0 by default), the message is hidden:

Downvoted and hidden message

Slack admins can change the Karma threshold by signing in to anonymitybot.com:

Karma Threshold Settings

✅ How Anonymous Authors can Display a Verified Usergroup in Slack

Anonymous authors can choose to display a [Slack usergroup] they belong to.

It looks like this:

Anonymous Message with Anonymous Author Usergroup

Notice the someone at Engineering in the message title.

Members of Slack Usergroups will be shown a Display Usergroup section in their creation dialog of anonymous messages, replies, polls and whisper.

For example:

Anonymous Message Creation Dialog with Display Usergroups Section

For more information on this feature you are invited to read our blog post about it - Verified Usergroups for Anonymous Authors.

📃 How to Whitelist Channels in Slack

Sign in to app.anonymitybot.com, browse to Dashboard, enable the Channel Whitelist feature and add channels to it. Only Slack workspace admins can enable it.

Whitelist with channels

💬 How to Reply Anonymously in Slack

Click on ⋮ (More actions) for any message (anonymous or not) then choose Reply Anonymously.

Reply Anonymously

Anonymous replies show a pseudonym of the author, for instance R1 is the author of the first reply and more replies by the same author would result in the same pseudonym (R1).

Reply Pseudonyms

If the replied to message is an anonymous message or poll, when the original author of the anonymous message or poll replies, her pseudonym is OP.

🚩 How to Flag a Message as Inappropriate in Slack

Team members can self-regulate anonymous messages by achieving a required number of flag reports (3 by default, can be changed in AnonymityBot's Dashboard).

To flag a message as inappropriate, click on the message overflow menu (the three dots) and select Flag as Inappropriate.

Flag as Inappropriate Overflow Menu

Choose the reason and allow us to mention you (we do this to avoid flag trolls):

Flag as Inappropriate Overflow Menu

When there are enough flag reports the message is removed.

🤫 Anonymous Whispers in Slack (Beta)

Anonymous whispers are anonymous messages that can be sent from any workspace member to a private channel ("whisper channel"). A secret chat room allows the whisperer and recipients to convene pseudonymously.

Anonymous Whisper in Slack

It is great for private suggestion boxes, ways to raise concerns or simply to allow external anonymous thoughts in private channels

For example, Human Resources (HR) can create a new private channel named #whisper-to-hr, invite only HR personnel and capture concerns and thoughts from the team with anonymous whispers.

On the same note:

  • R&D can create #whisper-to-rnd.
  • Marketing can create #whisper-to-marketing.
  • Executives can create #whisper-to-executives.
  • Management can create #whisper-suggestions or #private-suggestion-box.
  • etc.

You can also enable anonymous whispers for already existing private channels.

📨 How to Whisper Anonymously in Slack (Beta)

First, an admin needs to enable Anonymous Whispers and add private channels in AnonymityBot's Dashboard.

Anonymous Whisper Panel

Any member can now invoke the whisper anonymously dialog with one of the following:

  • Typing /anon whisper.
  • Selecting Whisper Anonymously from AnonymityBot's Slack Home, Menu or Slack's Shortcuts interface.

The whisper anonymously dialog is straightforward and reminiscent of the post anonymously dialog:

Anonymous Whisper Panel

Clicking Continue leads to the Preview View which contains a link to a secret chat room that allows the whisperer and recipients to convene pseudonymously (we direct to a secret chat room to avoid having to store the whisperer user id):

Anonymous Whisper Preview and Secret Room

Clicking Whisper posts the anonymous whisper in the selected whisper channel:

Anonymous Whisper in Slack

Side note: anonymous whispers are in BETA, if you have any thoughts on how to improve it please drop us a line at [email protected]

🔒 How to Use AnonymityBot in Private Channels

Invite AnonymityBot the private channel with invite @AnonymityBot and use in the same manner as before.

👼 How to Reply as You to an Anonymous Message in Slack

You can reply as you, as you would for any other Slack message. Simply click on the Reply to thread button:

Reply as You to an Anonymous Message

💁 How to Introduce AnonymityBot to Slack Channels

Type /anon, click on Introduce AnonymityBot, choose a channel and click Introduce.

Introduce AnonymityBot

💡 How to Give Anonymous Feedback in Slack

Anonymous feedback is used to extract valuable thoughts by increasing the psychological safety of the team - people feeling they can raise questions, concerns, and ideas without fear of personal repercussion.

With AnonymityBot, anonymous feedback can come in the following forms:

Anonymous Message

Members can anonymously signal an approval with the thumbs up button (👍) on messages and polls.

🎁 How to Create an Anonymous Suggestion Box in Slack

Anonymous suggestion box is tool that is usually used by management to hedge against their self imposed thought silos.

With AnonymityBot, since we allow anonymous conversations, any channel becomes a suggestion box.

Some teams prefer to allow anonymous discussions only for specific public or private channels (see Channel Whitelisting)

🗽 How to Get on the Pro Bono Tier

AnonymityBot is automatically free for educational workspaces (see blog post).

If you're a member of a non-commercial organization or an open source project please either apply here or with /anon pro-bono and we'll be in touch! :) ✌️.

📑 List of AnonymityBot Subcommands

  • /anon - opens the Menu view.
  • /anon faq - opens the FAQ view.
  • /anon help - sends basic usage instructions.
  • /anon post - opens the Post Anonymously view.
  • /anon poll - opens the Poll Anonymously view.
  • /anon whisper - opens the Whisper Anonymously view.
  • /anon intro - opens the Introduce to Channels view.
  • /anon feedback - opens the Contact Us & Feedback view.
  • /anon <message_to_be_sent> - opens the Post Anonymously view with messagetobe_sent preset.