Is the Gri.pe app the restaurateur's new worst nightmare?

gripe app.png
Got a Gri.pe? Social extortion is coming to a phone near you.
If you thought Yelp's contribution to the battle between restaurateurs and their customers was making the situation bad, Gri.pe just made it worse, replacing civility and polite face-to-face problem solving with virtual public shaming.

Thrillist describes the new iPhone and Android app thusly: "Social networking may be great for maintaining a mind-boggling number of connections, but ultimately those friendships aren't worth crap if you can't use them to threaten others."

In this video of the app being debuted, one of the Gri.pe founders explains how to show your "number" (compiled from all your Twitter, FB, etc. connections) to a hotel manager and, essentially, hold your phone in his face like it's your cojones: "This is who I am, these are all the places that I'm on, this is my reach and influence," he says. (p.s. Also love his business-speak remark, "What is your 'ask' here?")

While Gri.pe's team insists that they are all about resolving gripes, the app seems to have been spawned by engineering types with more rage than social skills. Tellingly, the founder remarks that, out in the real world, "We never really get the respect we deserve."

The moderator sums it up even more succinctly: "A way to turn annoying social media doucebags into even louder more annoying social media douchebags."

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