The reason we never offered anonymous identities or communication, was a basic understanding of iterated prisoners' dilemma. Conversations, communities, relationships and strong emotional bonds are formed through a social form of iterated prisoners' dilemma.
When a participant in iterative prisoners' dilemma has no identity or feels free from the responsibility of their actions in social interactions communities quickly degenerate into a race to the bottom. This is when trolls, abusers and the worst part of our humanity starts to become a strategic advantage in seeing your actions get more attention by continuing to push the envelope of acceptable behavior. [...]
Neither of these companies have done the bare minimum to develop a security model that backs up their claims of anonymity and they both should be ashamed. It is the pinacle of irresponsibility to ignore basic security, cryptography, litigation and network design threat modelling but promote yourself as anonymous. [...]
What a waste. If you're an engineer at Whisper with any skills I suggest you recheck you goals & priorities and then start circulating your CV. There are so many worthy startups that are doing meaningful things. So many worthy ideas that need engineering, design or attention. I know Whisper is funded. I know they probably have aspirations of a massive exit. But if you are an engineer at Whisper try never reading anything but InTouch magazine & TMZ for your entire tenure at the company and then decide if that's how your skills are best utilized.
On your permanent record
Tags: big brother, corporations, security
If the people in web/mobile/social/gamification/etc. application programming (I decline to call them "engineers") were capable of mustering themselves into a mass of socially responsible withholding of their collective labor from detrimental projects, the world would be a very different place.