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Controversial site lets professionals review each other... and there is no delete button.
Privacy is dead. Most of the millennial generation knows that everything you type, every picture of you, and every digital interaction may well be made public someday. Unvarnished wants to make sure that happens.
The company, which launched in private beta Tuesday, is a place to review other people. It’s easy to write alarmist pieces about Unvarnished (imagine all the people who have a gripe lambasting you publicly in one place…) but there are a number of reasons that a site like this, if it can mix in a heavy dose of professional (read LinkedIn) with only a dollop of smear (not too much F***edCompany), could be a valuable service. If you're the type to make enemies, imagine all the people right now saying stuff about you behind your back. Unvarnished at least gives you a chance to defend yourself. There’s also the smoke and fire argument: if people are slamming someone consistently, there’s probably a real issue that ought to be dragged out into the light.
Unvarnished may help the fight against influential jerks, much like TheFunded serves as a power-in-anonymity resource for entrepreneurs vis-à-vis investors. Of course, powerful people can also find effective ways of destroying competitors' reputations, and Unvarnished will be one more billy club for the savvy slanderer.
The company plans to grow its user base organically, leting any member create a profile for someone else and start reviewing them. Individuals can claim their profiles and invite colleagues to review them, much like on LinkedIn. But unlike LinkedIn, users cannot control everything that appears on their public profile—you are stuck with your good and bad reviews, unless there is something illegal or particularly vile.
To join, you can sign up for the waiting list or one of the 1000 or so private alpha users can request a review from you via Facebook, thereby bringing you into the fold.
Unvarnished may accelerate the publication of everything personal. The result will be some mix of better behavior, greater leniency towards mistakes, and more paranoia.
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