Unvarnished, a new website where people rate people; advancement or trollfest?

Apr 1, 2010 by

Unvarnished is a site that allows people to review people anonymously. We think this is an extremely negative event with dangerous ramifications. The web allows engenders a type of sociopathy in some people which has led to an increase, and maybe a pride in, trolling. (Are there paid trolls?) Reality TV provides tutorials on how to be mean spirited delivered by “troll” role models. In addition, any savvy web user knows that people will take time to write bad reviews more often that people will make the time to write good reviews. In addition our experience is that most negative reviews are a result of some disappointment with a product or service rather than the product or service failing in some disastrous way. 

That’s not the least of it. If sites that allow people to post reviews of other people take off; how will that affect someone’s willingness to make controversial statements that may need to be said?  What will it do to controversial people? For example, would you be less willing to tell the truth (after all you might the crowd) if you knew that negative reviews of you could be posted on social networks, and that you had no control over them? 

Even further, could a person take you hostage or bend you to their will by threatening to post negative reviews about you? 

Would we eventually be forced to become a moving mass, a cud chewing crowd of people living in fear of being different? (Don’t want to chance ruining my reputation)

Don’t tell us about how physically expressive society has become with tattoos, nose rings, and fixed gear. If a large group of people adopt a look it loses its power and is no longer an example of “freedom”.  We’re reminded of the black and white pictures of Chinese Communists wearing the same “look” in their clothing choice(s) and on their faces. 

Molly Wood at cnet wrote what we consider to be a “fair take” on the situation here.

Jessica Guynn with the LA Times give an overview of the feedback about the site here.

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