A soon-to-be-released app called Peeple has gotten social media into a bit of a huff as its purpose of asking people to rate one another has been deemed a cyberbullying nightmare before it’s even launched.
What is perhaps most worrying about the launch of the Peeple app is that this is not just an independent app developer working on a project and gaining some publicity, but rather one that has created a company worth an estimated US$7.6m based off funding raised from VC firms.
Expected to launch in late November, Peeple has already caused one hell of a stir on social media with people questioning the potential lawsuits in the making for an app that asks you to comment on someone’s personality.
According to The Washington Post, the app’s co-founder Julia Cordray has compared the need for an app as being equal to when you look for a new car and search online for reviews of it.
“People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions. Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?,” she said.
Meanwhile, her fellow founder Nicole McCullough has said that she wanted to create an app that would allow her to look up her neighbours and judge whether they’re good enough for her kids to be around.
People can create other people’s profiles
Much like the well-established review app Yelp, those who are put on Peeple, regardless of whether they agreed to go on or not, will stay there for all to see.
However, for anyone wanting to enter someone onto the list of names on the app who has not been on it before, the uploader must have the other person’s phone number, despite their original attempts to automatically collect names from Facebook.
People who feel they are being abused or unfairly treated on the app can then lodge a complaint with the Peeple moderators, which given the type of people that tend to leave reviews will likely keep them busy.
On Twitter, particularly, the app has not gone down well at all, with people either describing it as us reaching peak cyberbullying, or even just saying it will bring on a dystopian world where people are afraid of one another.
Twist: anyone who rates anyone on #Peeple automatically gets a zero rating for being a terrible human being.
— Louise MacGregor (@cutpriceguignol) October 1, 2015
I’m 90% convinced #peeple is a viral marketing stunt for the new season of Black Mirror
— (╯°□°）╯︵ ɥɔʇǝןɟ (@rfletcherEW) October 1, 2015
#Peeple, it’s like someone looked at twitter and went; “THIS IS NOT NEARLY WEIRD AND UNSAFE ENOUGH”
— John Palethorpe (@MrDuttonPeabody) October 1, 2015
so #peeple is what happens when two popular mean girls from your high school grow up & decide to make a slam book for the entire world?
— Sara Schaefer (@saraschaefer1) October 1, 2015
#peeple‘s VC pitch: “So basically, we think trolls are a huge untapped market and we can cater this service to them.”
— STOP WHITE PEOPLE. (@girlziplocked) October 1, 2015
Women forced to give their phone number during street harassment (by men who’ll call it there to verify) can then be harassed on #Peeple.
— Trudy (@thetrudz) October 1, 2015
Man giving thumbs down image via Shutterstock