Can a social network support both anonymity and — a much rarer quality online — politeness?
That’s the aim of Candid, which is designed to let people unburden themselves (or just have silly conversations) without fear of harassment. The app does not identify people by name and encrypts your data. It also promises not to share personal information or collect your IP address. Users can join groups based on their interests — “Washington, D.C.” or “Food” — to join in the chatter. Random usernames are assigned to each post and only stick with you through a single conversation.
Candid’s secret sauce is in its artificial intelligence moderation, which aims to weed out bad actors by analyzing the content of posts and keep hate speech and threats off the network. It also has other interesting features: For example, its algorithm tries to weed out false information by marking certain items as “rumor” or “true.” Conversations on the network — even about politics and other controversial topics — are, by and large polite. That’s a good sign and shows that the algorithm seems to be working.