Anonymous, Free Speech App Candid Criticized for Not Being Anonymous and Free Speechy Enough

By William Hicks | 5:39 pm, October 7, 2016

With social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook cracking down on free speech and banning users (with a perceived anti-conservative bias) demand for free speech alternatives have grown.

In this context Candid came to the app store. The app boasts a messaging platform where users can have “unfiltered” and anonymous discussions. But after a few weeks as being hailed as a bastion of free speech, the app has become the center of a dumpster fire of Youtube drama, pitting e-celebs of similar political persuasions against each other. The controversy stems mainly around the apps decision to censor what it deems as hate speech with artificial intelligence.

It began when Candid paid a few Youtubers to make sponsored videos marketing the product. Youtube has lately been very quick to demonetize creator’s videos of ad revenue, so it’s understandable some Youtubers would look for new revenue streams.

Some of the Youtubers they paid (shoe0nhead, The Amazing Atheist and Mundane Matt) are anti-censorship free speech advocates who often rail against social justice warriors in their videos. Some of the paid Youtubers made the mistake of marketing the app as a “free speech” platform.

But as with anything  involving more than one Youtuber, the situation inevitably devolved into a frenzy of drama and slapfighting.

Enter Harmful Opinions, also a pro-free speech, ant-SJW Youtuber. He came out with a video calling out Candid and the Youtubers who were shilling it. In the video he showed a clip of Candid’s CEO Bindu Reddy, explaining postings on the app were put through an algorithm to detect slander and hate speech. So not exactly “unfiltered” as the app’s marketing suggests.

Reddy responded to the video, attempting to clear up some concerns.

Candid is meant to be a place where you can have candid conversations, express yourself and speak about controversial things THAT SAID, it’s impossible to have any type of constructive conversation when someone spams with you the same image the same time, posts a meaningless one liner against all white men without backing it up with some reasoning or slanders every single poster by calling him/her a ‘fagg*t” Take for example a user who shows up and spams every single YT comment of yours with an gory and horrifying image. YouTube today takes some measures using it’s ‘AI’ to remove those messages. We do the same. We do the same. We use AI to remove low quality, meaningless posts which PREVENT CANDID conversation. We don’t have any evil intentions and in fact, I am for speaking you mind and having great conversations that enable constructive discussions.”

The drama continued with Harmful Opinions slapfighting with the Candid shillers on Twitter, where it was eventually revealed that Candid was paying Youtubers to create counter videos to his own.

Harmful Opinions posted a dm conversation with The Amazing Atheist, where Amazing Atheist implied he could have been paid for a counter video but the one he made was “too harsh,” while ironically using language that probably would be censored on Candid.

Youtuber Armoured Skeptic (shoe0nhead’s boyfriend) appeared to make one of these counter videos, which mocked Candid’s opponents of the app, before digressing into ad copy.

As the flamewar waged on other figures entered, like game developer Mark Kern, also pro-free speech/anti-SJW. He criticized the app for not being anonymous enough because he claims user data is still stored and sold to advertisers. Kern is currently on a full day argument bender with the Candid dev team (in damage control mode) on the finer points of data anonymity. If you get pleasure from pedantry, I encourage you to check out the Twitter exchanges.

The social media drama surrounding Candid will likely not be over anytime soon, as people are digging up old Tweets made by Candid staffers, with SJW-y and pro-censorship opinions. And the staff at Candid seems perfectly happy to oblige the drama, responding to almost all criticism lobbed against them.

The real problem with Candid is not really in the app itself, but the marketing. They tried to advertise there apps to different people in different ways. Early articles about Candid had titles like “Candid app aims to increase online civility.” The company tried to play up the fact they were creating a safe anonymous space of discussion. But where they went wrong is paying a bunch of anti-censorship borderline-edgelords to market the product, who’s fanbase of course reeled at the thought of AI speech policing.

What is ironic about the drama is that MyLikes the company which made Candid, specializes in social media marketing and sponsored content through Youtube. So you would think they of all people would know the powder keg they ignited with their actions.

Oh, well. At least we the passive audience gets to watch the fiery explosion.

Follow me on Twitter @William__Hicks