Peeple the ‘Yelp for people’

App Uproar: Is ‘Yelp for people’ app a cyberbully’s dream?


Does this app encourage cyberbullying? What does the app do to screen for fake reviews?

A controversial new app described as a “Yelp for people” has gone viral-and sparked terror on the Internet.
The app, which has the tagline “Character is Destiny,” allows people to rate one another, as if they were businesses on Yelp (note: there is no affiliation between Yelp and Peeple, they just work similarly), using a one-to-five star rating system. This begs the obvious question: Should we really be rating other human beings?

“Peeple,” which bills itself as a way to “rate and comment about the people you interact with in your daily lives,” has soared to prominence in the wake of a post on The Washington Post’s Intersect blog, which deems it “terrifying.”

Though the app won’t launch until November, the early reviews aren’t positive: In headlines and tweets, Peeple is being called “truly awful,” “a bad dream” and “a terrible idea.”

But the app’s founder, Julia Cordray, is staying firm. She says that critics don’t understand her product.
“This is all about uplifting each other and helping each other and operating from positivity,” Cordray says.
“We all deserve to know who the best of the best are,” she adds, repeating: “This is about uplifting people.”
The Canadian entrepreneur founded Peeple with her best friend, Nicole McCullough, a mother who wanted to create a product that could help her identify trustworthy babysitters or neighbors-people who would be interacting with her kids. Cordray claims there are features built in to prevent the sort of abuse and hostility that seems inevitable.
“There’s a lot of misunderstandings of the way the app actually works,” Cordray says. “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-app
Critics fear the app will subject users to harassment, but Cordray insists that Peeple will be primarily used for upbeat reviews. “This is a positivity app,” she says, “and we do not mean any harm. We don’t intend to cause harm. This isn’t about that.”
The Peeple team stresses that people won’t be allowed to write anonymous reviews. Users will have to sign in through their Facebook profile and must be 21 or older. To add a person to the database to be reviewed, the user must have that individual’s cell phone number. But what if someone who has your number pens a negative review of you?
“The only way that those comments will go live is if they’re positive,” Cordray says. “If they leave a negative comment, it goes into your inbox and it is kept there until you, as the other user, claims your profile.” (Negative reviews will remain private for 48 hours, giving the person being reviewed a chance to respond.)

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