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Unvarnished – Website Sparking Controversy over Professional Privacy

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Unvarnished is a new website that was created for building, managing, and researching professional reputations of individuals. Critics of the site believe this will be an open forum for vengeful and disgruntled employees and customers to wreak havoc on unsuspecting individuals.

Your Reputation is on the Line - Flickr via 'bulliver'

Your Reputation is on the Line - Flickr via 'bulliver'

Currently this online resource can only be accessed through Facebook and is limited to those that are 21 years and older. It is currently in an invite-only beta version.

On Unvarnished, an individual can create their own profile or a profile for someone else. These profiles are designed to build professional reputations and get feedback on professional performance.

Once a profile is created, it cannot be taken down. The founders of this website believe that if they gave the option for people to take their profile down, then everyone would.

Once a profile is created, reviews of work performance can be added. These reviews are meant to be community-contributed, business-focused assessments of professional performance. All reviews are anonymous to ensure honest, true reviews without any repercussions.

To ensure legitimate responses, Unvarnished has a created a Reviewer Authority score. This system places a badge next to each review by a given reviewer. In addition, an individual can also request reviews from their trusted colleagues, taking control of their professional reputation.

Unvarnished is creating this forum to give credit to business professionals where credit is due. Many critics are quick to criticize this new site, claiming it is an outlet for gossip and could possibly ruin current and future careers.

The creators of the site claim that the update tools and the ability to comment and request reviews will ensure validity of the reviews. Unvarnished strongly encourages contributors to review people they have had a professional relationship with or to discuss business-related topics. The more helpful the review, the better rating the reviewer will receive – this will be a strong incentive to be truthful and fair, says Unvarnished.

Curious? See Unvarnished for yourself.

2 Comments

  1. Jamal

    April 5, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    The creators of unvarnished claim to be about honesty and transparency meanwhile the CEO’s brother was caught astro-turfing about the site here.

    http://econsultancy.com/blog/5693-unvarnished-yelp-for-people-may-be-2010-s-worst-startup

    These guys are scum.

  2. Stem

    April 5, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Unvarnished has a potentially scary connection with facebook connect. It doesn’t feel private

    I think the way http://www.dirtyphonebook.com organizes it’s anonymous commenting system looks like a lot more fun.

    Some wild stuff going on in the Internet lately, huh?

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