PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Randy Farmer of Palo Alto was shocked when he saw his online review. The former Yahoo strategy analyst doesn’t own a business. His 3-star rating is based on work performance!
“The person left a very low number rating, but didn’t leave any text,” explained Farmer.
Farmer was rated on Honestly.com. Think Yelp, but for people. It’s a new website where anyone with a Facebook account can rate just about anyone else.
“It’s a place where people can go to see honest reviews of business professionals and also share their honest opinions about business professionals,” said Peter Kazanjy, co-founder of Honestly.com.
He says the website was created to fill a void.
“There really isn’t really a community contributed site for business professionals like reporters, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists,” said Kazanjy.
It may seem harsh, but Marcia Hofmann of the Electronic Frontier Foundation says posting information about a co-worker is legal as long as its accurate.
“A comment that is truthful, but unflattering… basically an opinion that’s not a good one… is lawful speech. It’s protected,” said Hofmann.
Kazanjy says they’re simply taking every day observations and making them more accessible.
“The idea is this conversation is already happening, we just want it to happen in a place where there is structure and rules,” said Kazanjy.
But, people like Randy Farmer aren’t exactly a fan of the rules. You can’t delete bad ratings, and anonymous users don’t have to explain why they gave you a low score.
“Be careful who you make enemies with because they might sabotage your reputation,” warned Farmer.
You cannot opt out of honestly.com, but you can sign on to respond to your ratings.
Reported by: Nicole Brewer, CBS 3