Feel Like Screaming Into the Void? This Website Lets You Do Just That

John Oliver created it to make the world a better place.
Virtual screams can be cathartic, too.
Virtual screams can be cathartic, too. / BraunS/E+/Getty Images

Letting out a cathartic scream isn’t always feasible. Maybe someone’s asleep nearby. Maybe you’re at a baby shower, on a crowded train, or in the middle of a work meeting. Screaming at someone is also often a bad idea: You can never really take back whatever you said, and it might not be that productive, anyway.

Luckily, there’s a website that lets you virtually indulge in both those urges without consequences. It’s called Scream Into the Void.

You type whatever you want at the opening of a virtual black hole, press the ‘scream’ button, and your words will disappear down into the void to the tune of a good, loud scream. The whole process is a little like writing a strongly worded letter and immediately destroying it—but without the risk of someone asking why you’re furiously ripping up a piece of paper (and without having to waste any paper).

We have John Oliver to thank for Scream Into the Void. On a 2015 episode of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, the comedian covered the then-upcoming launch of a new app called Peeple, on which you’d be able to rate people based on your interactions and relationships with them. It was often described as “Yelp for humans.” And if you think it sounds scarily like Black Mirror’s “Nosedive”—the season 3 episode wherein everybody rates each other—you’re not the first person to make the comparison. 

Oliver’s point was that we’ve already seen how cruel people are to each other online, and Peeple just promised more of the same. As an alternative, his team created Scream Into the Void—so you can satisfy the impulse to be a massive hater without actually hurting anyone’s feelings.

Needless to say, Peeple never caught on. But Scream Into the Void is still freely available for your use whenever you have a mean-spirited thought and an internet connection. As for whether the messages truly disappear, it’s not totally clear: The site links to HBO’s overall privacy policy, which features a lot of convoluted details about how and when they’re allowed to use your data. They do say that they may use your information “for the purpose of detecting, preventing or investigating criminal activities.” So maybe don’t scream anything potentially incriminating into the void.