Reppler: Watching your Facebook reputation (so you don't have to)

A new service called Reppler aims to protect your Facebook rep from, well, your own stupidity. I give it an A for effort and a B- for execution.


Got a bad rep on Facebook? Remember, you brought this upon yourself. Luckily for you, services like Reppler can help identify the truly embarrassing stuff and hide it away from college recruiters, future or current employers, legal authorities, and potential mates.

Install the Reppler Facebook app, and it can scan your wall and/or your news feed, identify how you sound to the world at large, and flag posts that might later come back to bite you. It will highlight any potentially dangerous links to malware or spammy sites that appear in your News Feed.

It also displays neat stats about which words show up most frequently on your wall, where most of your Facebook content comes from, and which kinds of things you tend to “Like” most. 

Think of Reppler as a tech-savvy mom, wagging her finger at the things you do and say on Facebook you know you probably shouldn’t. Facebook evaluation Facebook evaluation screen

That’s the idea anyway, as CEO Vlad Gorenick explained to me over the phone. Though the free service is launching for Facebook, his goal is to cover other popular social networks as well – where people often unwittingly do themselves and their reputations harm.

“It doesn’t matter these days whether you’re working behind a keyboard or a cash register,” he says. “Your online reputation matters -- anybody can look it up. Our goal is to give you feedback so you can make the decision whether that content is appropriate.”

In practice, however, Reppler still has issues, as my spouse likes to say to me.

For example: Reppler told me the overall tone of my Facebook posts is “neutral” (though “smartass” is closer to the mark). Reppler analyzed my last 100 posts and found only six examples of Inappropriate Content (though I’ve been inappropriate on Facebook since at least 2007). It flagged status updates mentioning beer (duh), meth (a mini-review of Winters Bone), getting stoned (a post about James Franco), and “Texas tea,” which it somehow mistook for a drug reference though in fact it was a nod to the Beverly Hillbillies. (“Oil that is. Black gold. Texas tea.”)

It entirely missed everything I’ve ever posted from, which is about as inappropriate as you can generally be in public without getting arrested.

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