Hot or Not
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hot or Not (called Hot or ... for iOS devices) is a social app that has users rate the attractiveness of others based on a series of photos. Users must first set up an account of their own, with photos -- and must verify their identity with a working email address or a Facebook account and their mobile phones. The site says it will not accept a profile unless the user is 13 or older, and that users 13-17 can't chat or share photos with users older than 17 -- but there's no age verification process. Users can log in to see what others think of them. And if two users think each other is "hot," they can send messages to each other. Keep in mind that there's no guarantee anyone is really who they say they are here.
What's it about?
After going through a surprisingly thorough sign-up process, users can rate others as "hot" or "not." They'll swipe through another user's portfolio of pictures and will also see how many interests and friends they have in common. Once they've made up their mind, users just tap a heart sign or an "x" to rank them. From there, it's onto the next person. It's possible to filter users by age range and sex, but you cannot skip a user. Tapping the "i" button in the lower right portion of the screen pulls up their location (by city) as well as other information they've provided. Should two users rate each other as "hot," they can chat via messages.
Is it any good?
It's hard to know where to start when listing the problems with Hot or Not. Its focus on objectifying other people is hardly new -- the sister website has been around for years -- but it has gotten no less offensive. The signup process is especially invasive, requiring you to supply a valid email address or give the app access to your Facebook account -- and a working cell phone number to send you a validation code. The potential for trouble in unmoderated messages is immense. And, while the app might say teens can't interact with adults, there's no age verification.
There does seem to be some moderation of pictures -- as we were unable to find any nudity, though the app does warn it might appear infrequently. But even with that, it's still an inappropriate choice for kids.
Families can talk about...
What kind of information is safe to share on social networks.
Families can also talk about whether it's a good idea to judge people based solely on their appearance.