The discount shopping site Wish exists to fill the space between Amazon and Etsy. You’re not going to find the new iPhone on it and you aren’t going to find a hand-knitted tea-cozy either. What you will find is a virtual wonderland of ‘made in china’ items ranging from sex toys to crossbows designed to fire tooth-picks. One important thing you won’t find on Wish is privacy.
I signed up for Wish in a flash; the site lets me use my Facebook, Google Plus, or email. I chose to use my Google Plus account and one click later I was browsing.
After adding some particularly cool items to my list like manly sports things, and super awesome clothing that nobody would laugh at me in, I was ready to check out. I checked my profile and, oh no, it’s apparent to anyone who signs up for the site that I’m lying about how cool my purchases are.
That’s my real name, pulled from my Google Plus account. I can’t change it on the Wish website (or in the apps) either. The profile works the same with Facebook, it uses my government name without asking me to create a username. Luckily, thanks to a Buzz-Feed report I knew this upfront. So I’m not going to put things on my list that I wouldn’t want people associating me with.
What troubles me the most here is that there’s no option for private lists. There are no privacy options at all, best I can tell. Lists, reviews, and other interactions on the website or its apps are all public and tied to user’s full names. That’s more than an oversight, it’s a lack of awareness on the company’s part.
The website sells a lot of different items, but it seems apparent that one of its draws is cheap sex-toys. I did a search for “sex” from the main page and, while it didn’t tell me how many results were returned, I got bored scrolling down after a couple of minutes. There must be tens of thousands of products related to coitus.
I can’t imagine how many people have their names on this website next to a product they might not want family or co-workers knowing they’ve purchased or have on a wish list. There’s now way to tell who is savvy and who is clueless.
I wonder if the people behind the names I’ve blacked out above know that anyone on the internet has access to reviews on the site.
Without the ability to hide my profile, change the displayed name, or keep lists private I won’t be reviewing my embarrassing purchases. I won’t be using Wish to create lists. I’m now compelled to make a list in another app or program and then come back to it when I want to use Wish.
Not everyone cares who sees their reviews – which is cool, I firmly believe that products marketed towards adults need to be reviewed, there’s some real crap out there – but I do. I wouldn’t post a review of a product that was meant to be worn on my genitals under my full name. I take no shame in being an adult who likes adult things. There are simply some things my colleagues, mother, and readers don’t need to know about me.