Secret's "proprietary" anti-bullying system worthless


It’s amazing the difference between technology that’s there because somebody wants it and technology that’s there because somebody thinks that they might face legal trouble for not having it…


I can’t really think of any likely use case for Secret, other than bullying…

I’ve never heard of this before today, but that was my thought exactly.

Well you could… um… leak those damning government documents… yea, that’s it. Oh, and come out! Well… anonymously. I guess that’s not coming out, is it?

Oh I know! You could buy a ton of small-company stock and then anonymously announce that Microsoft is buying them! Anonymity guaranteed!

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Former content moderator here. I have no idea about their specific implementation, but the scale excuse could be real. Content moderators don’t start hitting their stride until a month or two into the job, so sudden usage jumps can cause serious delays. Management doesn’t start training people up right away in case it’s a short-term spike and it goes back to normal afterwards.

For reference: in my office, moderators were required to handle up to 3 messages a second and respond appropriately.

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Stalking, harassment, pestering, trolling… the uses are endless!

Wait, what? That sounds absurd!?! How is that even possible?

3 was considered the upper limit of what you were expected to do without help, and you were normally working between 1 and 2 messages a second (which is pretty relaxing after you’ve had a few shifts operating at the limits). Some factors that make it possible:

  • 3 a second for raw content, so you only had to act on maybe 5% on it. If it was reported or pre-filtered content, the extra time spent responding lowers your speed.
  • Most messages aren’t that long, a sentence or less.
  • You quickly learn to skim and interpret the general meaning of a chunk of text. People who can’t do that naturally don’t last long in the job, the same for people who cant stomach the content. We probably only retained about 50% of new hires for more than two months.

The guys in the article seem to be dealing mainly with reported content, but I’ll bet they still have to handle around one message or image per second. Moderation costs come directly out of your profits so most companies don’t spend more than they have to.

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It would be unpossible in these here parts.

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