Liberal activists can now use their smartphones to scan products when shopping in order to avoid products produced by Koch Industries. The app, called “Buycott,” shows users the parent company of a given item they’ve scanned, allowing them to devote the knowledge for any particular cause.
Buycott allows users to scan the barcodes of products to determine their corporate family tree, as well as create campaigns pushing activists as to purchase certain products or avoid others. The app’s developer said he doesn’t “want to push any single point of view with” it.
“For me, it was critical to allow users to create campaigns because I don’t think it’s Buycott’s role to tell people what to buy,” he said. “We simply want to provide a platform that empowers consumers to make well-informed purchasing decisions.”
The implication, though, is clear enough. The idea for the app originated during a speech at last year’s Netroots Nation, an annual convention started by the left-wing blog the Daily Kos. Keynote speaker Darcy Burner, a two-times-failed Democratic congressional candidate, presented a mock interface for an app directed at boycotting products affiliated with the Koch brothers, such as Brawny paper towels and Angel Soft toilet paper (both produced by one of their subsidiaries, Georgia0Pacific, a paper-goods company Koch Industries bought in 2005).