Airpnp: Polish activists cause foul smell with toilet-sharing app

A city-planning movement in Warsaw made headlines in Poland when it shared ads for a new app that purported to allow users to rent their toilets for a fee.

“We all have basic physiological needs,” the Airpnp (Air Poo and Pee) ad read. “Many of us find it difficult to use public toilets. It is often difficult to find toilets nearby or sufficiently clean. Now you don’t have to worry about them.”

It is not known how many went to download the application or were put off by the multiple hygiene problems raised by the concept.

Either way, the app was later revealed to be a fake. It was just a coup to highlight an alleged lack of public toilets in the Polish capital.

“We were thinking about how to raise the issue of the lack of availability of public toilets in the city, and we thought that if we raised this issue in a standard way, we might not get much attention,” Jan Mencwel , Miasto chairman Jest Nasze, told Euronews.

The bogus ad looks like an app that was tested at New Orleans Mardi Gras in 2014 that allowed people to charge members of the public for using their private bathrooms.

Within 24 hours of posting online, the Polish ad was shared by hundreds of users on Facebook and Twitter, and picked up by some national media outlets, including Polsat News and Business Insider.

Some understood that it was a waterfall, others did not.

“In the ’80s people thought we would have flying cars … What do we have? An app makes money by sharing the toilet,” one person wrote on Twitter.

“I can provide a litter box,” one user joked.

Mencwel said the idea to campaign for more public toilets arose after Miasto Jest Nasze discovered that Warsaw had far fewer public toilets than some neighboring capitals.

Looking at the Polish capital’s total, he recorded 153 toilets, which is “not great, but not good compared to Berlin and Prague”, which have 653 and 243 respectively.

In addition to drawing attention to the lack of public toilets in Warsaw, Mencwel also said his association thought it would be interesting to “ask whether the peer-to-peer model used by Uber and Airbnb has a lot of flaws that we don’t see “. .

“It’s based on interactions between people, but at the same time monetizing those interactions, and often based on a lack of public services,” he said. “And also a lack of regulation and a lack of control.”

Euronews contacted Airbnb for comment but had not received a response at the time of publication. Uber declined to comment.

Miasto Jest Nasze, which is the largest movement of its kind in Poland and has seen candidates elected to the district council, aims to build support for the idea of ​​sustainable development and modernization of the city.

The political association created an app in light of the findings on public toilets, which takes data about their location from the city authority’s website and presents it in a mobile-ready format.

Mencwel said the association encourages people to check the toilets marked on the map to see what condition they are in and email them to imp.

The group plans to “add more information so that when you are on the street you can see through your mobile phone whether these are suitable facilities for people with disabilities, pregnant women or people with a disability. small child, for example “.

Euronews contacted Warsaw City Hall but had not received a response at the time of publication.

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