Lulu taken offline in Brazil after user backlash

By Jack Flanagan on January 9th, 2014

Lulu, the notorious man-rating app and website, has been taken offline in Brazil following a lawsuit and “massive backlash” from users in that country.

The app allows women to rate men based on a number of queasy adjectives and phrases such as “#cheaperthanbreadandbutter”, “#SleepsInTheWetSpot”, “#CarneFresca”.

To date, Lulu, which used to be called Luluvise, has launched in each new market to fanfare and opprobrium, enjoying a massive initial spike in adoption followed by moribundity and unpopularity.

Such naff ratings and labelling goes against the grain of Brazilian societal norms and, it now seems, against that law, too. It has culminated in a lawsuit from “disgusted” boyfriend and lawyer, Fabio Scolari.

Speaking to The Kernel, Scolari said in December that he was suing Lulu because “I did not authorise the disclosure of my image for the purpose of the application, [and] the review is anonymous, which is forbidden by the Brazilian Federal Constitution (art. 5, IV)”.

Scolari told The Kernel today that the Lulu website has now gone offline in Brazil. “Having faced a massive backlash from Brazilian society, the application Lulu is no longer running in [Brazil].”

There has been no statement from Lulu as to whether this means a retreat from Brazil.

Brazil provides a platform for failed social apps to find new life. Almost no social network launched in the country fails to gain some form of traction, with young Brazilians famously obsessive about social networking.

In Lulu’s case, the opposite seems to have happened. Its attempt to grow in an emerging market like Brazil has been plagued with public and legal controversy suggesting the company is finding it difficult to expand into new countries.

This will please the Brazilian public and, most likely, men worldwide.

A spokesman for Lulu told The Kernel this morning the site was only offline “to be renovated”, though the service remains available in every other market.