Tech

Dildo Buyer Beware On The Wish App

The discount site Wish makes all your shopping lists (including its large array of sex toys) public under your real name.

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Wish is the greatest shopping site of all time (according to me, a person who loves weird, cheap shit of dubious quality). It’s like a giant 99 cent store, but full of crazy things you never knew existed, and everything ships directly from China (for a deeper explanation of how an old postal law makes it so cheap for Wish to ship directly from China, read this story).

But there’s one thing that's weird about the app: It lets you see customers' full, real names on the profiles linked to their wish lists.

Which is especially a problem because Wish sells lots and lots of adult items.

DILDO BUYERS BEWARE!!!!

NOTE: BuzzFeed is a sex-positive website! We are very happy if you're enjoying these adult items, and it's great for you that you have a healthy sex life. No shaming here! Enjoy those dildos, everyone!

However, from an app design standpoint (which is what we're focusing on here), this is a bad thing.

Here's a selection of products that had reviews with customers' full names, linked to their profiles with wish lists.

Here are the reviews for the sex doll. Check out the blurry parts — those are people's REAL NAMES. As in, their actual first and last names, not a user handle (we blurred them out). Note the first guy, who says the hips are a little square:

We're curious about Mr. "hips too square" – maybe he doesn't really know anything about sex-doll sizing, or maybe he's an expert. When we click on his name, we get to his user profile:

Executives from Wish did not respond to messages, but a customer service representative told BuzzFeed News, "rest assured that we are working our very best to accommodate this kind of request [private wish lists] and come up with ways to improve our customer's experience."

It's not uncommon for e-commerce sites like Amazon to have public wish lists (after all, you might want someone to buy you a gift!). But typically there's also an option to make them private.

I suspect most users have no clue they automatically have a public profile where you can "follow" other people, see their full names, and view their shopping lists. There's no way to change your full name in your user profile settings — however, you can change your profile photo.

Point is, if you're getting a great price on a super-great sex doll, that's wonderful, and Wish is full of delightful deals. But be aware that the site isn't exactly protecting your privacy.

Katie Notopoulos is a senior editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Notopoulos writes about tech and internet culture is cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.

Contact Katie Notopoulos at katie@buzzfeed.com.

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