Be polite or be labeled as rude on Candid, a new anonymous social network

candid anonymous but polite screen shot 2016 07 21 at 6 02 35 pm
If you don’t have anything nice to say, you just can’t say it — not if you’re on Candid, at least. On Thursday, yet another anonymous social network launched on both the iOS and Android app stores, but this one comes with a twist — on Candid, you have to be nice. That’s because content is curated and moderated by artificial intelligence and natural language processing, which purports to flag or remove inappropriate content, and keep a conversation decorous.

Founded by ex-Googler Bindu Reddy, Candid requires users to sign in by way of Facebook, but once they’re on the platform, all their content is kept separate from their identity. They’re informed of how many Facebook friends they have on the new social network, but not which friends specifically. There are no IP addresses recorded, and a random username is given to each post. That means that you can’t really search for these usernames either.

But just because others may not know who you are on Candid doesn’t mean Candid can’t keep things clean. Sentiment analysis is used to assign badges that are consistent across usernames, so that if you consistently post content that reads a bit like a rumor, you’ll get a badge that reads “gossip.” Or, if you’re consistently a Debbie Downer, your badge may say “hater.” Having these badges, Candid believes, may help to either deter users from resorting to negativity, or warn other users to take these posts with a grain of salt.

And in today’s social media-obsessed world, knowing what to take seriously and when can be critical. In explaining her rationale behind creating Candid, Reddy said, “Expressing my opinion, especially about controversial issues [on social media], inevitably upsets someone. I needed a place to express myself and engage in discussions where ideas can be debated on their own merits instead of being used to attack me as a person.”

That’s Candid’s goal — frank, honest, and anonymous discussion that exists without the risk of bullying and abuse that has become almost second nature in many corners of the internet. Ultimately, Reddy told Forbes, “Platforms have to curate. AI can help remove the noise, reduce the anonymous hatred, and encourage users to share more content.”

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