Let me start with an acknowledgement. While the term “douche” in the title maybe a bit off-putting to say the least, this is a case of, “Yes, there is an app for that,” and it has drawn some attention. In addition, and as a point of clarification, the term is being used here under the definition provided from Urban Dictionary. This invaluable source on slanguage defines the word “douche” as meaning: “An obnoxious bastard who mooches off of family and friends and is a complete and total ass to everyone.”
I’d also like to note that I do not speak Russian, which is where the app originates, and hence for further detail about the company responsible when you click the link embedded below you are going to need Google Translate as a helper.
With disclaimers out of the way who is behind this and why is it creating buzz?
The answer to the first part of the question above is that the app is the brainchild of the folks at a Russian online newspaper The-Village.ru. Based on a belief that public humiliation is the best way to generate better behavior, they created the “Parking Douche” mobile app to allow people to vent their frustration at poor parkers as well as alert their fellow local citizens to be on the look-out for the inconsiderate.
Here is how it works:
But wait. The humiliation is not over. The pop-up is posted only for people within the immediate area of the car. The reason is that it might be recognized and have a word with the offender. Plus, the reader is not able to finish the article until they re-post the car on their Facebook page, i.e., spreading the word to others who might know the driver and have a chat with them.
There is even a video of the app that goes along with this that is worth a view.
Oh BTW. If you think this is not serious business, guess again. The app has won several awards, including the Grand Prix at the Golden Drum Awards in October 2012 for Mobile, Digital Campaigns, Mobile Campaigns and Innovative Campaigns; and the Silver Drum for Digital and New/Innovative.
Several years ago in an attempt to call attention to restaurants in New York City a similar form of humiliation was employed by the local newspapers. Restaurants found to have poor sanitary conditions were awarded rats with chef hats on a sliding scale so that potential patrons knew what might await them. The list was published frequently, and it worked. Restaurants might covet Zagat and other ratings (now Yelp reviews), but rats in chef hats were seen as bad for business.
I point this out anecdotally because like it or not, vulgar or engaging, the extension of the philosophy of exposing bad actors and circulating who they are is likely to be a growth area for apps. Public humiliation as noted does work. As we wait for what’s next on this frontier of social media, all I can advise is when in Russia, be careful how you park. You certainly don’t want to be tagged with a certain label.
President Obama, in a commentary piece in the Wall Street Journal, has laid out what is described as "Our new national action plan includes $3 billion…
This week, the NHTSA made a decision to designate the computer in a self-driving car the driver. This means, in theory, that you can now build a car t…
Roll over dogs, there's a new human companion in town and it's smart, omnipresent and perhaps best of all, hair-free.
The late Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once said, "Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do…
Telecom fraud is big business and poses a significant threat to carriers throughout the globe. According to a 2015 survey from the Communications Frau…