Investors Debate The Ethics Of Anonymity Apps

TechCrunch › Alexia Tsotsis

VCs are publicly and privately debating the morality of investing in the burgeoning “anonymish” app space, after a series of negative posts, mainstream gossip, a high profile resignation and even bomb and violence threats have pushed the volume of the debate to eleven.

Last night, Netscape founder Marc Andreessen had one of his characteristic Twitter surges. He began his speech by referencing product developments that unequivocally exist for the good of humanity, comparing them to products that are “designed to encourage negative behavior, tearing people down, making fellow souls sad.”

He asks in his soliloquy (included below) whether these products should be invested in, from an ethical and moral standpoint, due to the possibility of negative consequences. Investor Mark Suster, who has been singled out as a target on Secret just like A16z has, supported Andreessen’s view.

“Investors make choices every day,” Andreessen wrote, in a continuation of the thread. “Many things don’t get funded that would make $ but aren’t ethical, moral, and/or legal.” He confirmed that ’public opinion’ sensitive LPs are one reason behind this, and notes that “headline risk”, “branding risk” and “explaining to family risk” are some others.