If you saw the word “Peeple” trending on social media and you’re wondering why, it’s because this new app is causing outrage. This new mobile app is being introduced as the “Yelp for people.” It allows you to rate and review someone you may or may not like.
Peeple is in the process of launching the five-star rating and review app in November. It shouldn’t be confused with the unknown Peeple photo-sharing app, which is like Flickr and Instagram all in one. The founders of the website, Julia Corday and Nicole McCullogh, say that this app will “change the way that people can learn about each other online.” They also call it a “positivity app for positive people.”
— Total Sorority Move (@totalsratmove) October 1, 2015
It’s the same way you would review a new phone, a happening hotspot, or your physician. It’s also a way for others to learn about prospective business partners, dates, employees, or roommates. What’s making some mad is that you’re rating people like they’re something you bartered. In fact, anyone can add your details, and you can’t remove your personal information from the app. The only thing needed to create a review is the user’s cell phone number. That person will then receive a text message letting them know that the person reviewed them on Peeple.
A previous report via the Washington Post’s Intersect blog has called the new app downright “terrifying.” Meanwhile, a report via Slate says that the problem with Peeple isn’t its negativity — it’s the app’s “empty positivity,” which is making us more shallow than ever. Although the app hasn’t launched yet, the reviews have already been negative, as seen in recent headlines and tweets. People have also sent incoming calls and text messages to the company and have taken to Peeple’s Facebook page to call their new app a “terrible idea” and “a bad dream.”
But Julia Cordray is defending her new app. During her Wednesday evening interview with Newsweek, she explained that no one understands her product. But if no one understands what Peeple is, then who is the app for?
“This is all about uplifting each other and helping each other and operating from positivity. We all deserve to know who the best of the best are. This is about uplifting people.”
Julia and Nicole developed the app so that they could weed out the perfect neighbors or trustworthy babysitters for their children. Cordray stands by Peeple and says that she won’t allow harassment and hostility to run rampant on the app.
“There’s a lot of misunderstandings of the way the app actually works. We have more integrity features and more accountability features built in than most online ratings systems today. I can appreciate, when people found out the world was actually round and not flat, and that we revolved around the sun instead of the sun revolving around us, there was tons of fear and uproar. We need to keep in mind that with any new concept and any new idea, there’s always going to be some fear and some concern.”
Peeple isn’t the only app out there that rates people. It’s similar to industry-specific review sites like Rate My Professors or ZocDoc.com. If you have a great relationship or had a bad date and want to share it with the world, well, there’s already an app for that.
Lulu is an app that allows women to anonymously rate and review men. After it received some major backlash, the app changed its policy so that men can opt-in to be reviewed on the app. There’s also Knozen, which allows users to rate their co-workers’ personalities, quirks, and work ethics with fun questions like, “Who is more likely to leave work early for a date?”
Hate to interrupt the outrage machine, but there’s already an app for judging people. It’s called Lulu. pic.twitter.com/5rZGn5Ne63
— Political Math (@politicalmath) October 1, 2015
When you come to think of it, there aren’t that many date-rating or people-rating apps out there. That could be the reason why Peeple and the thought of such an app is causing such an uproar. However, there are plenty of people-rating sites that have frequented the internet over the span of a decade. HotorNot.com was one of the first and is still alive to this day, along with RateMyBody.com, which prides itself as “a place to meet, date, and rate people.” Check out just some of the many people-rating websites here.
What are your thoughts on Peeple? Would you use this app to rate other people? Do you think it should launch at all? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.