How do you really feel about politics? The company you work for? Your friends and neighbors? Did you ever think about sharing those feelings on a social media app? It probably wouldn’t end well. The stronger your views, the better chance you’d have of getting overwhelmed by hate comments, fired from your job, or in a fist fight with the guy next door.
Suppose you could say whatever you wanted about those topics in totally safe and anonymous environment? A place where you could discuss topics that truly matter to you without fear of retribution.
Candid thinks they can be that place, but I have questions.
Candid is a new social media app from two former Google employees who saw a need. Choose the topics that are important to you, then join the conversation. As long as you’re civil in your comments, you can say what you want. To keep bullies at bay, the app uses artificial intelligence to block messages with “questionable content”. Given that the whole point of this app is controversial conversation, asking a computer to decide what’s okay and what’s not is a tall order.
What’s really odd is that Candid’s entire platform is based on anonymity, but you have to sign up through Facebook. Then, the app combs through your profile in order to “personalize” your feed.
Look at the features on the app page:
– Find communities based on your employment and education
– Totally anonymous and secure
– Find your friends on Candid and create your own groups
– Anonymously send posts to your address book contacts
– Discover rumors, leaks and interesting news
How anonymous can you be when the app matches you up with your friends and co-workers? The app developers say that the system randomizes posting names, so no one can pick up on a pattern. But if you and I have been working together for five years, and now you’re spouting off about our boss on Candid, I don’t need a name to know it’s you.
And “Anonymously send posts to your address book contacts?” That sounds like an invitation to spam.
The only thing Candid has going for it, over a phony Twitter account or a fake name on a forum, is its ability to trounce the trolls before they suck all of the joy out of the discussion. That’s no small thing. It’s nearly impossible to have any kind of serious discussion online without getting a face-full of hate back.
Speaking of which, Candid – the app that prides itself on controlling negative behavior – has a Hater Badge that will be awarded to anyone who never has anything nice to say.
Founder Bindu Reddy says,
“By giving people the ‘hater’ badge, we hope to make haters more aware of their hate. The idea is that they’ll either leave the app, change their behavior, or could continue their ways and eventually be kicked out anyways.”
In other words, on Candid you can speak your mind freely — as long as you don’t upset anyone else with your words. Kind of defeats the whole purpose of the app, doesn’t it?
If you enjoy lively debates on all kinds of topics, you’ll probably enjoy this app. Just remember that secure and anonymous messages have a funny way of becoming public and personal. If you have something to lose, don’t put it in writing on Candid or anywhere else.