- Tesla is reportedly trying to cut off employee access to an anonymous workplace chat app called Blind.
- Blind is a popular app among workers at Silicon Valley giants like Uber, Facebook, and Google, because users can anonymously post and connect with others in the tech industry.
- Here’s what it’s like to use Blind.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Employees at Tesla suspect that the company has tried to prevent them from accessing an anonymous workplace app popular among Silicon Valley workers.
The app, called Blind, allows users to anonymously talk about their companies, and connect with other tech industry workers in forums. Blind recently told UK news outlet Verdict that Tesla employees — 2,100 of which are signed up on Blind — have claimed to have trouble getting onto the app in the past month.
Tesla employees are reporting various issues hindering their access to Blind, as noted in a May 24 post on the app from a Tesla worker. Employees are claiming Tesla is blocking the delivery of account verifications to Tesla email addresses, and that the Blind app has been blocked on Tesla’s WiFi network.
Tesla has not responded to Business Insider’s request for comment. Although the reasoning behind Tesla blocking Blind access is unclear, some employees are guessing it’s a move by Tesla to curb leaks of confidential information. In May, Tesla emailed its employees to warn of severe ramifications for leaking company information to “people who will do anything to see us fail.”
Tesla is not the first to try to hinder its employees from accessing Blind. Uber tried to block the app back in 2017 after allegations of sexual harassment from a former engineer rocked the company.
Nevertheless, the app is used by thousands at major tech companies including Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. Blind has been used by employees to share info on worker pay, get job interview tips, and complain about their companies.
Here’s how Blind works, and how to use it to connect with other employees at your company:
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Blind is advertised as a completely anonymous platform for coworkers to connect out of work, and for employees across companies in industries to connect and network.
While the app did initially cater to tech companies, its offerings have since expanded beyond Silicon Valley.
Blind requires a verified work email address to use, which the company says is to best “gauge the professional status of our potential users.”
The app also lets users verify and get access by logging in through LinkedIn.
After verifying your email and creating an anonymous user ID, you’ll see Blind’s home page.
Here, you’ll find two feeds: one where you’ll find all of the public posts made about various companies across industries, and a second for private posts made inside your company.
You can filter your main feed to limit what you see down to certain topics.
Topics expand among a wide range of subjects, from those that are company-centric — like layoffs and human resources issues — to more industry related, such as relationships, politics, and women in tech.
Blind is still working to expand beyond tech, and will soon offer careers categories for more industries.
When you scroll through your feed, you’ll notice the wide range of things for which users turn to Blind.
Some ask about career tips and job referrals, while some ask for advice on creating apps and raising capital. Blind even conducts polls to produce insight on company morale, salary comparisons across companies, and more.
Depending on how big your company is or how active Blind is among employees, the secondary internal company feed could be valuable as a private space to share what’s going on at your workplace.
But if you work at a place where Blind isn’t so popular — like Business Insider — this second feed will feature a whole lot of nothing.
If Blind isn’t popular in your company, you may not have a company-specific channel — Blind requires at least 30 employees from a company to register on Blind in order to create a channel.
You can still sign up and use Blind, and you’ll be notified once enough people from your company have signed up.
Going back to the main feed, you have a bunch of different options for how to deal with posts.
Clicking on a post like this one offers you more details about the post, as well as ways to interact with the person who created the post.
Let’s say you want to contact the person behind this post to offer them a referral. If you click on their username, you’ll be able to see where they work, and message them directly.
You’ll also see that some questions have tagged companies in the posts.
The advantage of finding out of these posts is that if you click on one, you’ll be able to sort your feed by all the posts that also tag the same company.
This feature makes it easier to filter out posts if you’re trying to focus on finding information regarding a specific company.
The company-sort feature also makes it easier to monitor a particular company — like Tesla — if something is going on there, like the ban of Blind.
I could see this feature being useful to monitor a major situation like the Google-wide employee walkout, and see what reactions are like from workers all over.
Outside the main feed, Blind has tabs to search content by keywords, organize your chats with other users (seen below), monitor app notifications, and look at account settings.
All the way on the bottom-right is the button for creating your own post.
Making a post for Blind is relatively easy and straightforward.
You can choose a specific topic to tag your post with, and tag any relevant companies. You’re also able to add photos to your posts, or convert your post into a poll.
Any responses to your questions will get sorted into your notifications tab.
Blind is free to use and available for both iOS and Android users.