A new social app called Giggle is positioning itself as a girl-only social platform,media outlet The Verge reported. To register, the user must upload a selfie. The application then uses biometric gender verification software to determine if the person is female. If it’s transgender, the technology won’t work.
“Giggle works for all girls,” the company says on its website. Transgender girls can get into trouble when verifying because of the gender verification software that giggle uses. “
Giggle, founded by Australian screenwriter Sall Grover, can look at the bone structure of a face to determine its gender. This is problematic in many ways, especially since the bone structure clearly does not well demonstrate gender identity. Still, the website states: “This is biological science, not pseudoscience like cranialology.” “
Some Twitter users raised concerns about the app’s exclusion of transgender people. One user wrote: “We will wait for our trial like sheep. It just needs a selfie – if giggle lets us in, we will be welcomed by the women’s society. If not, we will be discarded. “
Grover responded to the criticism by tweeting that she consulted transgender women when she built the app and decided it would be best to publicly acknowledge the software’s limitations. “We work with transgender girls and they think it’s best to spot flaws first so that there’s no harm in sexism,” she explains. Later, she said she was “very grateful for your feedback” and agreed that some of the language on the site was “uncomfortable.”
It’s not clear why Giggle needs access to this data because its goal is primarily to connect women with potential roommates or travel partners. Although Giggle’s website says the app “is designed to provide girls with the ability to choose, control and connect,” the technology appears to be the opposite.
Giggle did not immediately respond to a request for comment.