Velocitygeni.us, a student housing consulting firm, asserts its stance for an open and free Internet by signing the Declaration of Internet Freedom (DIF).
In short, DIF describes the need to protect expression, access, openness, and innovation for those who wish to use the Internet.
Controversy over some of the manifesto’s implications, like the right to anonymously post customer reviews, directly relate to important issues in the Student Housing Industry. Though, the overarching message supersedes any financial liability, says Jason Velazquez, founder of VelocityGeni.us.
“It’s a tricky issue. We have strong cause to believe user anonymity has become a business model; leveraging the rights afforded to the people as a means for private profit. The right to remain anonymous, as inconvenient as it may sometimes be, is worth protecting for the greater good.”
Velazquez continues with a call for trust through transparency by urging others in student housing, particularly operators, to consider signing the pledge as well.
“We have a lot left to learn about apartment reviews and the ramifications they have on our industry. But, it is clear we have an issue of trust from our residents. The signing of this manifesto shows support for our residents’ rights to free and anonymous speech.”
The mention of trust, or lack thereof, is a reference to a recent phenomenon where companies have taken legal action against residents on grounds of deformation; forcing review sites to reveal a reviewer’s identity through means of court order.
“The DIF pledge could be used as a means to communicate that such actions violate our residents’ right to free speech and will not be a consideration under similar circumstances.”
Velazquez has been known to publicly criticize review sites that potentially use anonymity to generate large amounts of free user-generated reviews with, as he puts it, “little regard to content validity”. Though, his company’s signing of the DIF suggest that any efforts to end such practices will stop short of infringing on individuals’ right to free speech.
The VelocityGeni.us team plans to release a white paper detailing the affects anonymity has on apartment reviews in the coming months.
Our Mission at VelocityGeni.is:
As the first strategist firm in the industry, VelocityGeni.us inspires a new era in student housing. We exist to push forward the evolution taking place in our industry.
We believe in disrupting the status quo. We believe in progress through innovation. We believe in a better student housing experience for everyone. Join us.
Our Focus at VelocityGeni.us:
Student Housing is in our DNA. It is what we do, exclusively. We are Information Architects. We are Action Strategists. We are Velocity Geniuses. Through this lens, we focus on four core themes:
- Open Innovation