Former Googler Aims to Create a New Hate-Free Social Media Site
By: Fast Company
Former Google engineer Bindu Reddy has spent years thinking about how people engage on the web. From 2005 to 2008, she worked on the early versions of Google+ as well as the web publishing network Blogger. In the years since, she’s launched a management system for helping social influencers monetize their big followings called Mylikes. Now Reddy has a bigger, more ambitious goal in sight: building an anonymous social network without hate speech, abuse, or power-wielding superusers. She’s enlisting the help of former Reddit CEO Yishan Wong to help her do it.
Anonymous social feeds are of course not a new concept. Anonymous social apps were the friendship bracelets of the early 2010s: hastily strung together in the early summer months, worn by everyone at the season’s peak, and discarded in the first week of school. People flocked to the app to read surreptitious posts, but the content proved to be a lackluster stream of the kind of inner thoughts no one really wants to know about. From 2010 to 2014, mobile apps like Secret, Whisper, and YikYak raised tens of millions of dollars for their ability to appeal to high school and college students. Since then, the novelty has worn off. Secret has shut down and YikYak is reportedly in financial turmoil.
But Reddy is hoping to take a different approach this time. "What we think is missing in this space is a place for someone to be your personalized newsfeed with information actually being shared in an unfiltered way," says Reddy. More specifically, Reddy is trying to foster a platform where people don’t just yell random thoughts into a streaming abyss of opinions, but rather share information and have honest discussions with one another on chosen subject matter.