The controversial new app ‘Peeple’ is being described as a “Yelp for humans”, providing a users with a platform to rate and review their various acquaintances.
The app, which is due to launch in November 2015, has unsurprisingly met with some backlash from those who see it as another opportunity for cyber-bullying. However its creators, Julia Cordray and Nicole McCullough, insist that the app is intended to “find the good” in people; although it is hard to see how enabling people to give star rating on an individual’s personality could not lead to pronounced negativity.
The two founding women documented the app’s development process in a YouTube series.
“I think this app does really help find the best in each of us but it would be pointless if it was all positive,” Cordray comments in the documentary. It is a struggle to find what the “point” of the app is if it isn’t to criticize people for their imperfections.
The ladies have included some checks and balances in the rating process which they assure will prevent the app from being used as a bullying tool. For instance, any negative review (2 stars or less) is not immediately published, but rather the reviewer and the reviewee have a 48-hour period in which to dispute. If they cannot come to an agreement the negative review is published.
(Are you as confused as I am? Yes, I also am unsure how that will prevent an onslaught of negativity.)
“It’s like Tinder, Facebook, Linkedin and Yelp all in one app,” Cordray described. I agree, it is like all the negative facets of these social media platforms along with a little “hot or not” thrown in for good measure.
Critics described ‘Peeple’ as everything from “irresponsible” to “the third circle of hell”.
When the app’s announcement was met with more criticism than the CEOs were prepared to deal with (in what may be the most ironic move on the year) they attempted to shut off the comments section on their Facebook page. Prompting one user to state: “founder of #peeple, an app designed to collect unsolicited feedback doesn’t appear to like unsolicited feedback.”
In an interview with WPIX, Julia Cordray addressed the public’s response to the announcement of ‘Peeple’:
“With any new concept there is naturally fear. When the people found out that the earth was round instead of flat and that we revolved around the sun instead of the sun revolving around us naturally people were upset and confused and they pushed back with all that they had,” she said.
“Bringing a new idea to market when people don’t believe that the world is genuinely a good place filled with amazing people there will be push back and fear. We look forward to proving that the people in this world are genuinely good and positive and they will uplift you on our app with over 80 percent positivity.”
For anyone who frequently uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media platform that meets your fancy you know first hand that Cordray’s conception of the online community is not only false but delusional.
I for one am not going to buy her petty defense of this absolutely punitive concept; and really it is only respectful as I refuse to believe she is a big enough idiot that she actually thinks this social experiment of her’s will end well.
We need only look to Yelp itself for an indication of how things will progress after the app’s launch. Disgruntled restaurant patrons are more likely than those who had an adequate evening to go online and leave a review, which is one thing when it comes to tearing apart the wait staff at a local diner but a completely different story when it involves rating your ex-boyfriend’s worth as a human being.
While there is no way for anyone to opt out of being rated on the app, it will be interesting to see what people actually choose to take on the role of reviewer.
The app has an estimated worth of over $7 million dollars, but only time will tell if it lives up to its creators expectations.