How To Ruin Your Co-Worker’s Reputation

Taking mean-spirited gossip and slander to a whole new level, here’s a way to anonymously slam your office-mates, as reported in Time:

A new website is betting you’re willing to dish about your co-worker’s job performance just as you would a Netflix movie or an Amazon purchase. The site, dubbed Unvarnished, came out of private beta testing last week and aims to create an open forum to rate professionals in the workplace — for better or for worse.

It’s a concept that has caused some controversy, particularly since Unvarnished allows employees to be reviewed anonymously and with no way of removing a negative review. But the co-founders, veterans of sites like LinkedIn and eBay, think there’s a market for honest, unfiltered feedback about how individuals perform in their jobs and say their site will ultimately be more useful than the carefully selected job references or curated blurbs on someone’s LinkedIn profile. “We’re trying to take how professional reputation works in the offline world and port that online,” says co-founder Peter Kazanjy.

Here’s how it works: Say you have a gripe with your co-worker. You can log in to Unvarnished using your Facebook profile and either create a profile for your co-worker or add a comment to a page already created, assigning them a rating and giving a description of your issue. Your name is kept anonymous, meaning your co-worker can’t seek you out for retribution, and your comment is left there for the world (and potentially future employees) to see. Want to give someone an attaboy? You can add that comment on their profile too. The site aggregates reviews to spit out your professional reputation on a five-star scale, along with comments from individual reviewers.

It’s not a completely new idea. Sites like Rate My Professors and Rate MDs have proven popular for assessing members of specific professions. But Unvarnished is unique in the scale of its sounding board: you can rate your doctor, IT guy or boss without ever giving away your identity. (Comment on this story.)

Kazanjy says the anonymity is necessary; without it, people couldn’t be “candid or nuanced in their reviews.” But at the same time, it opens the system up to potential abuse…

majestic

Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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15 Comments on "How To Ruin Your Co-Worker’s Reputation"

  1. There is nothing “potential” about this. It will be abused. /b/ will delight in this.

    The only question is, how long until the first murder/suicide/mass gunning?

  2. This actually concerns me a lot. This is a slippery slope – one capricious comment from someone, legitimate or not, can be used to ruin someone's life in an application like this. This makes it much too easy to destroy reputations for no good reason. If you're negatively listed on a site like this, you lose business, it's that simple. And while part of that DOES rest on the quality of the individual's product/service, as it should, this is very ripe for abuse. One bad review can cost someone their livelihood, permanently. While this may be a worst-case scenario, I can easily see this happening.

  3. Your basher's name is kept anonymous, thereby preventing you from confronting your accuser or making a counter argument — a basic standard of justice.

    The only thing crappier than Facebook? This backstabbing crap.

    Lame. Wicked lame.

  4. deep roy | Apr 7, 2010 at 5:46 pm |

    How long 'til someone sues for libel? Month? Week? Couple days?

  5. Scary. It reduces the workplace to a schoolyard popularity contest.

  6. Gee, this sounds so nifty! Where do I sign up? I need very badly to be maligned professionally online!

  7. It makes the game more vicious by allowing full anonymity with no requirement for verification

  8. Gee, this sounds so nifty! Where do I sign up? I need very badly to be maligned professionally online!

  9. Anonymous | Apr 9, 2010 at 12:43 am |

    Maybe I’ll bash my Mom for doing a bad job of raising me…..Heheeee!

  10. GoodDoktorBad | Apr 8, 2010 at 7:43 pm |

    Maybe I'll bash my Mom for doing a bad job of raising me…..Heheeee!

  11. This could be used as a tool for both good and evil. While you should have a right to know the kind of boss you will be working for this could easily get out of hand with petty jealousy or revenge. All in all its a good idea but i believe this is poor execution.

  12. This could be used as a tool for both good and evil. While you should have a right to know the kind of boss you will be working for this could easily get out of hand with petty jealousy or revenge. All in all its a good idea but i believe this is poor execution.

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