It appears that bar codes have become an instrument for social change in a new and dramatic way. A new app for iPhone and Android helps you more effectively boycott companies by scanning the barcodes on products - and then learning what companies are involved in the manufacturing of the product, according to an article on the Forbes website, written by Clare O'Connor.
Are you concerned about the exploitation of child workers in the garment industry in Asia? Or the inclusion of chemicals sourced from a manufacturer of toxic chemicals, if so, this app could be a tool for identifying companies involved in the production of the item.
The app is called Buycott, and rocketed to #10 on the Apple download list within just a few days. The developer also has an Android version which he had to temporarily take down, as his servers were overwhelmed.
It can also presumably be used as a tool to identify and then reward companies that conduct themselves in a manner socially or politically acceptable to the user.
Interestingly, some of the reader comments following the article were what I would call vitriolic - as though the mere reporting of the presence of a new app was equivalent to inciting a riot. It would appear that such an app is threatening to some people.
An app that helps people find out the truth about a product or situation, while not compromising the safety of any human beings, is a positive event and is to be welcomed!!
Personally I recall the protests against Dow Chemical back in the 1970s during the Vietnam war era, for its production of a toxic chemical called Agent Orange -which was believed to be linked to illnesses sustained by veterans of the Vietnam war. Such an app would have been useful at that time for implementing a more effective boycott of the chemical company.
Thank you Clare for reporting on this app!
Written by Craig Aberle
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