Peeple app that turns people into Yelp reviews gets flak

1 Oct 2015

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.

Man giving thumbs down image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic