How to Fight Misinformation

How Houseparty Fought Back Against Misinformation

Earlier this month, the social app Houseparty threw down the towel against rumours that it’s app was a scam, and leading to users being hacked.

The company issues a $1 million bounty as a reward seeking out evidence that the company  was the victim of a damaging commercial smear campaign.


$1 Million Bounty

Online rumours alleged that downloading and signing up to the app led users other services such as Netflix and Spotify to being hacked.

They stated via Twitter:

We are investigating indications that the recent hacking rumors were spread by a paid commercial smear campaign to harm Houseparty. We are offering a $1,000,000 bounty for the first individual to provide proof of such a campaign to



The Content Review

On this episode of the Content Review, Vincent Haywood and Red Morley Hewitt discuss:

  • $1 million bounties for an app
  • Is Snapchat on Zoom a step too far?
  • Actually making LinkedIn enjoyable


Episode Intro

Red: So the first story I wanted to run past you happened about a week and a half ago.

It was the Houseparty scam.

This got sent to me, typically at this time via WhatsApp. People have been saying to me, if you sign up to Houseparty, you’re going to get scammed, your account’s going to get hacked and money’s gonna be taken from your bank account and charge for who knows what.

Have you heard about this?

Vin: Yes. A lot.

Red: A lot. Exactly!

And I think I’m fair in saying that this sort of thing happens pretty much every time an app comes out. Every time there’s something new and trending, there’s someone out there who wants to disrupt or just troll and puts this stuff out there. I remember this happening with TikTok and Facebook way back when they first came out.

It’s the same sort of thing.

Vin: Like you say, any channel, like there’s, there’s going to be a hacking scandal. And I think one of the first problems is that people’s definition of hacking when most times it’s because you’ve got a really bad password. But, carry on, I’ve got my opinion.

Red: Good, good. And that’s what we’re looking for really. Their first response was, alright, we’re sticking up $1 million to find proof of this. You know, tell us where this is happening. We’d like to fix this as soon as possible.

If this is true, putting $1 million on the line, that’s a huge stake. And that’s what led me down the, the, the, the thought train of who the people behind this app who are able to stake $1 million on something…


Watch the full episode here:

Recorded 9th April 2020