Sure, Yelp is an obvious destination for wary diners who are worried about long waits or overpriced food. But at least some consumers have found the scope of available information on Yelp too restrictive: What if, say, you were worried about whether you can carry a gun while enjoying your pancakes?
Fortunately for concealed/carry-toting flapjack seekers, a new app is stepping into this void. Launched earlier this month, 63red Safe aims to help the MAGA-hatted crowd locate businesses that are havens from the roving Antifa boogey men and “Socialist goon squads” that currently haunt contemporary GOP lore (and, apparently, popular mainstream dining establishments). Founder Scott Wallace has argued in interviews that the app, while marketed to conservatives, actually rates storefronts on their impartiality. After all, restaurants deemed politically neutral are often rated as “safe,” he told the Daily Beast.
But its design tells something of a different story: 63red Safe eschews nuance, each business is marked as either “safe” or “unsafe,” with little explanation. Despite the GOP’s common criticism of the left — that its “cancel culture” is a toxic manifestation of over-sensitivity — 63red Safe seems to buy into the same, starkly defined dichotomy.
How 63red Safe Works
So what makes a particular restaurant or business more likely to be deemed “safe” by 63red’s approach? Each listing on the 63red Safe app, which is free for iOS, is evaluated using four questions:
Does this business serve persons of every political belief?
Will this business protect its customers if they are attacked for political reasons?
Does this business allow legal concealed carry under this state’s laws?
Does this business avoid politics in its ads and social media postings?
The app’s development is a response to the widely covered instances of conservative leaders being interrupted by protestors during meals. In 2018, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen’s were both targeted in viral and widely covered confrontations.
Though it’s certainly garnered most of its attention over the last few days, “Yelp for Conservatives” is just the latest in creator Scott Wallace’s stable of pro-GOP platforms. There’s 63red News, which lets users select their news sources from a list of outlets like 100PercentFedUp, Breitbart and The Federalist, to assemble their own conservative alternative to the Facebook-like Newsfeed of curated headlines. There’s also 63red Talk, a social networking microcosm that mimics Reddit. Next on the docket is 63red Gather, which supposedly will facilitate event planning among like-minded folks.
The app has reportedly sparked such a high interest that the 63red server recently crashed — and in turn, set off a new conspiracy cycle. Wallace went on to blame Facebook for intentionally rate-limiting 63red Safe’s API.
“Apparently, “Doing business while #conservative” is a real thing,” wrote Wallace in a now-deleted Tweet. “Thanks to @Facebook, where we get our location info, 63red Safe can’t get any data. Our sincere apologies while we call Congress and try to break up this tech monopoly…”
Despite the deletion, 63red still appears to be having trouble staying online a problem that, according to a March 10 tweet, is due to its servers “getting slammed.”
But the length of the outage has some users venturing a separate explanation: One App Store reviewer accused the app of being a “leftist scam,” convinced it was just a way of collecting emails for a yet-unidentified other purpose. Several other reviews lambasted the app for not showing any listings in their area, though at least some of the negative reviews appeared to come from left-leaning trolls.
The app currently has an average rating of 2.5 out of five stars, as of Monday afternoon, based on a total of 90 ratings.