May App Update
The Bright Team
The Bright Team • Jul 15

May App Update

by the Bright Team

Startups are funny things – they’re seemingly everywhere, but most people never really hear anything about them other than that they exist.  Even when the software is built and the app is launched, we often don't really understand how or why a company chose to go in one direction over another or what values informed their decisions.

Bright, in just about every way, takes a different approach.  

We want to share our values, our process, our thoughts, and our journey with you.  As we move from concept to beta to release, we want you to have an active role, not only because we believe that transparency (where appropriate) is essential, but because we want to hear and incorporate your feedback as we build Bright.  Ultimately, this is a community we're building together, so we want to share our process with you and create a space you'll really love.

To that end, this month we’re excited to be sharing our approach to bringing new Members into the network. “Real People, Big Ideas, No Bots” means, on our side, making sure that the network is limited to real people, where we can create and share big ideas, without interference from bots or trolls.  Specifically, we'll focus on identity confirmation, which is at the core of how Bright will confirm that every single Member is a real person.

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To do that, we’re using partners who verify identity by scanning IDs, typically passports or driver’s licenses.  The process will be familiar to many of you already.  Anyone who wants to join will take a picture holding up an ID, they’re both scanned and validated, and voila: we guarantee that only real people (and people who are who they say they are) join Bright.

“But wait!” you might shout, “Doesn’t that mean you’re holding a huge amount of sensitive, private data about Members?”  Thankfully, the answer is no.  The way we’ve set this process up, the authentication process is a closed-loop: once your identity as a real person is confirmed, we delete all of the underlying data.  That means:

  • We don’t keep a picture of your ID
  • We don’t keep your picture
  • We don’t keep your ID number/data

All that we do is use this process to ensure that our members are real people, and not masquerading as someone else.

We all have to prioritise where we focus our resources and for us, it's on our Members.

If it’s so easy and so private, you might wonder, why doesn’t everyone else do it?  That’s an easy answer: it requires effort, time, and money.  Like everything else online, whatever you want to do comes at a cost.  We all have to prioritise where we focus our resources and for us, it's on our Members.    A social network with no bots, no fake accounts, and no troll farms?  Definitely worth it.

We realise not all of our Members will want to use their real names.  If you prefer to use a screen name or a pseudonym, that's totally fine.  We respect your privacy and your choice to present yourself how you want to on Bright.  The authentication process is to make sure that there’s a real person behind the screen name, and that every other Member can trust that fact, too.

And really trust is the key to all of this.  Authentication is a layer we’re building into the structure of Bright so that, from the very beginning, you’re experiencing something different from anything social media has been before.  This identity confirmation process will help us to be sure we're building a community where real connections are formed.  We can't wait to share it with you.

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Carlos Millan
Lisa Cox
David Culberg
Nicolette Beard
Andrew Caplan
The Bright Team
The Bright Team

Two lawyers, two doctors, an army officer, and a university student walk into a Zoom meeting and make Bright the best digital social community in the world. The team’s education and diversity of experience have given us the tools to confront some of the toughest tech and social problems.

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