The app already caused an uproar online back in October when it was first announced. Dubbed as the “Yelp for people”, Peeple was not exactly met with high-anticipation. Instead, it was met with backlash, harsh words, and even death threats at the address of their creators.
Created by Julia Cordray and Nicole McCullough, Peeple was dubbed as ‘a positive app for positive people’. It implies rating other people, like you would review a movie or rate a restaurant. As was expected, the backlash arrived soon after it was announced. One can only imagine the multitude of ways users could be taking advantage of the app for other means. This includes bullying and harassing, likely posting bad reviews for people who they just met.
Not to mention jaded exes, who might not have the best things to say, whether they are true or not.
The probably was rooted in the system’s highly subjective approach. Opinions are subjective, and while that is true with the movie, the actual character in it won’t get their feelings hurt for calling them boring. A real life person, on the other hand, might. This is especially the case if they hadn’t asked for that sort of judgement, as Peeple allowed users to be signed up without their consent.
Thankfully, the developers took some time off and changed some of the initial aspects of the app.
Peeple was supposed to launch in November, but the backlash had drawn it into silence. Some believed it was completely scrapped, others hoped it was out, but it’s now ready to come out. The backlash is still there, but the developers have admittedly made some modifications.
One of the most important changes is that people can no longer be signed without their consent. Meaning that if you want to be rated, you will be bringing it all onto yourself, and you will have agreed to the risk that people are not always nice. Members who do sign up must be over 21 years old, and have an active Facebook profile for at least 6 months before.
Second of all, users will now be able to hide certain negative comments on their profile and approve them if they want those remarks displayed. However, that only works for some. According to the developers, there is an option coming out in April, called ‘The Truth License’. For $1 per month, Peeple users who are paying will be able to see all the comments on everyone’s profile whether they want to or not.
According to Cordray, this will show you who everyone truly is, be it the person commenting or the one they so harshly disapprove of. There is no way this could end up badly.
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