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Houseparty App Offers $1 Million Bounty To Clear Hacking Accusations

Since quarantine started, people have been finding creative ways to spend time together online. That means Google hangouts are at an all-time high, everyone is streaming live on Instagram, and Zoom went from being a sound a car makes to a classroom necessity. There is also Houseparty, the app that allows people to chat and interact, moving from room to room with their digital cohorts and play games together.

There have been some vague warnings on the Internet that not all of these modes of communication are equally safe from a privacy and data perspective, but nothing was as crazy as the accusation that Houseparty is somehow making it possible for people’s Uber, Spotify, and Snapchat accounts to be hacked:

The app has responded in the strongest terms, absolutely insisting that these tweets are some sort of digital smear against them:

They’re so sure that it’s all a hoax that they are offering a BOUNTY of ONE MILLION DOLLARS to anyone who can find who initiated the dirty commercial campaign. I assume they think the bad guy behind this is Dr. Evil:

People are even more skeptical after reading this self-defense:

And many are saying it’s basically impossible to delete the app from their phones, whether they’re afraid of hacking or not:

There are plenty of reasons to be worried about using Houseparty or any other untested app that involves sharing information. Junkee reports the app has gotten criticized for a security policy users must agree to for its use that allows the app to record and hold onto all content made inside it. It also has a hint of Chatroulette, where rooms that are “unlocked” have had a lot of surprise nudity and other obscene content, exposing minors. Even non-minors probably don’t want d*ck pics showing up in their Scrabble game with their Aunt Martha, so that’s a problem.

Houseparty followed up their bounty call with a tweet about being happy to connect people in a difficult time:

But even in quarantine, we should have some standards about the way we connect. Let’s at least make the porn viewing voluntary, people!

More ways people are dealing with self-quarantine: