Let's suppose I have a platform much like Yelp, but it's only for ONE small town (80k inhabitants) and it only has listings of workers, not businesses.

In such a small town, most people are close in the social network. That means that it's relatively easy for a person to stumble across another.

The problem

If Mary hires John for a job, but then Mary doesn't like the end result of John's work and leaves him a bad review on the platform, how to give Mary the option to hide her identity in order to avoid any awkward situation in the case she stumbles across John? Not only awkward situations but also harassment from John, which is a possibility, am I right?

Why just hiding her name doesn't work:

If John had only one client (Mary) in a long period of time, and then shortly after the job he gets an anonymous bad review, he would do the Math in his head and know the author of the review must be Mary.

My solution

I thought of only releasing anonymous reviews by groups of 2 or more, so that John couldn't know for sure who is the person behind the review.

The questions

Feel free to answer any one (or all) of these.

  • Have you faced a problem like this? How did you solve it?
  • Can you think of ways I can improve my solution?
  • Is this an old problem I'm not aware of? If so, is there any better solution?
  • Forgive my english. I'm trying my best to explain the problem, but if you need any clarification, I'm here Aug 20, 2019 at 15:54
  • If it is necessary to hide the identity of your contributors for their own safety, maybe consider whether you should be doing what you're doing. Rating the workforce in one small town? That smacks of ethical issues. Aug 20, 2019 at 19:21
  • @scatter Which issues? If you're thinking of fake reviews, I think I have it sorted out already. As for hiding the identity, it's optional and the main reason is to avoid embarrassment or, as I said in the worst case scenario, harassment. The rating system isn't up for debate, though, as it is a key feature in the decision-making of clients. Aug 20, 2019 at 20:13
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    @SeuMadruga, your English is very good! Do not worry about that. Aug 20, 2019 at 20:18
  • @maxathousand Thanks. That's good to know an means a lot to me! Aug 20, 2019 at 20:25

1 Answer 1


I think you've got the right idea by only showing reviews if multiple reviews exist. I'd avoid allowing any written reviews, and stick to ratings (i.e. 5 Stars). Written reviews are likely to "give someone up" with accidental details. If you stick with this strategy, you've gotta find ways to get as many reviews in for a single worker - not an easy feat.

  • To add into it, just keep a star rating without option to see how many users rated the person. Similar to Uber's driver rating. Aug 22, 2019 at 5:41

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