A new app which promises to be a 'girls only social network' is now using 'biometric gender verification' to 'determine and verify the female gender' of prospective subscribers. The app called 'giggle' is a brainchild of Australian entrepreneur Sall Grover who reportedly said that she developed the app after experiencing isolation in Hollywood while she was trying to become a screenwriter. The app is aimed at women and the platform can be used to connect 'girls' for a range of purposes, including finding roommates to work opportunities.
According to the official website, “giggle is designed to give girls choice, control, and connection. Whether it is finding a roommate, a running buddy, a gig or simply someone to confide in and receive emotional support from, girls can do this on giggle”.
While speaking to an international media outlet, Grover said that she didn't have a network of friends to back her up and after returning to Australia, the idea of giggle was born.
However, many believe that the branding of the app is female infantilisation as the app refers grown women constantly as 'girls' and the tagline erroneously claimes that 'giggle' is 'the collective noun for a group of girls'. According to reports, the app works by taking a 3D selfie of a person's bone structure to determine if they're female.
One of the drawbacks of the app is that it excludes many transwomen and those whose physical structure may not fit with those determined to be 'female' by giggle's software. This has raised concern as well about how the system will deal with the drawback. However, in a tweet, the founder of the app claim that they trans-inclusive and just that trans individuals will have to call the customer service in order to gain access to space.
The app has also faced a lot of criticism from several internet users. Many believe that the app is poorly structured and may not even work. Some also mention the immediate associations of phrenology for an app that doesn't claim to be based on it.
Then ditch your facial bone structure pseudoscience nonsense.— Khaver Gate&Key (@imtheg8imthekey) February 7, 2020
What whitewashed world do you live in where you didn't see people having deep-seated reservations about someone demanding to study their facial bone structure to gain acceptance?
Half my cis friends aren't even welcome. If I have to send you proof of who I am and out myself to your staff, that's a hostile environment whether you say you are hostile or not.— Tina Monday Fucks on the First Date (@ThatQueenMab) February 7, 2020
Stop using racist sexist pseudoscience already
You're still using phrenology and an outdated definition of gender in your creepy face verification method. Also: I'm not a girl, I'm an adult woman.— Jillian C. York (@jilliancyork) February 7, 2020
Here to say that this isn’t science. Biological sex is scored on a sliding scale, please don’t use archaeologists and our method as an excuse for excluding people from your platform. https://t.co/ckDHkSw7aL— Vicky Owen (@Nott_Osteophile) February 7, 2020
This is so increadibly invasive. Data collection and founders with bad ideas is such a dangerous combo. https://t.co/sBLSpTnKnF— hey its me Mira V. 😉 (@MiraVioIet) February 7, 2020
(With Agency Inputs)