Is the Lulu app legal?
A new mobile app that allows women to rate men based on their personal dating experiences is gaining attention in the tech world.
The Lulu app was launched earlier in 2013 as a way for women to tell others about a particular man based on their experiences with them, but it does not allow guys to rate girls.
Elle Kaplan is one of the app’s users.
“You just find everybody you have ever come in contact with, like friends’ ex-boyfriends, and you click on it and its true stuff and you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh this is so true,’” Kaplan said. “You know it actually applies to their personality.”
The app asks different questions that, depending on how they’re answered, assign a number rating to a guy.
“There (are) hashtags like ‘Momma’s boy’ or ‘Still in love with his ex’ or ‘Baby blue eyes’ or something,” Kaplan explained.
Kaplan says it’s easy for users to spot an ex-girlfriend who is simply out for revenge.
“You’ll be able to see, you know like how many reviews they have, so if all of them are really good reviews and then there’s one random that’s like ex-girlfriend or friend that’s really bad then you kind of tell, ‘OK maybe she’s out for whatever,” she said.
Some have questioned whether or not Lulu is legal. Attorney Mark McDaniel says any issue with the app would boil down to the first amendment.
“Those first amendment rights are very powerful, that you can say things and publish things and get away with it because of the first amendment,” McDaniel said.
If a man wanted to sue over what was said about him, McDaniel says it would be easy to track the questionable review back to the owner of the phone with which it was written.
“If you send it, it can be traced back to you — that’s a no-brainer,” McDaniel said. “So they can say it’s anonymous and that’s their policy but if a person wants to file a lawsuit and start sending out subpoenas, that’s a different ballgame. They can get that information.”
However, McDaniel says it would be a tough case if a man were to sue over what was said about them on the app.
“They can put anything out there and the man can look at it and say, ‘OK you’ve ruined my reputation; I’m going to file a defamation lawsuit against you,’” he said. “Her defense is going to be, ‘It’s the truth.’ How is he going to disprove that?”
Lulu is free through iTunes and Google Play.
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