Peeple: The People Rating App that Makes You Question Humanity

There are so many apps out there that you struggle to understand why anyone would ever download let alone invent. The new app Peeple is one which makes you question what the founders were thinking. This app allows you to review your friends online and, unsurprisingly, this has led to uproar. Perhaps like founders, you too see the internet as a fluffy pink platform in which fairies watch over the spread of love online. However, in reality we are aware that the internet is actually full of trolls. We are taught about the risks of cyber bullying and this app will inevitably only contribute to this fear.

Whilst social media is advantageous in maintaining relationships, sharing thoughts and as a professional platform, it is also used as a platform to harass others and for individual’s to post incredibly hurtful comments. This is why the idea of an app encouraging people to review others without their permission is a terrifying prospect.

 

The Peeple app is yet to be launched but the features have been posted and it isn't the first platform that will breed harassment and cyber bullying. For example, the app Reddit has a thread called: “Roast Me” in which a user posts a picture of themselves with a caption e.g. “I went through 15 years of bullying go for it” and users compete to create the most upsetting comment. Now, whilst this is suggested to be an active choice to participate, the screening process isn't expansive and who is to say these people have given their permission to have their photos used.

The Peeple app has been met with a huge amount of backlash for obvious reasons. This app is not for anyone who wants to get a rating. It is for anyone who wants to rate someone. In other words, it is not the individual being reviewed that creates their profile; it is the person writing the review. In short, Peeple has the potential to give someone who hates you or is bitter from a breakup to create a profile about you and spread hate. Seems reasonable? I doubt it. But don't worry, founder Julia Cordray has security features in place. You can't join the app unless you're 21 and profiles will be screened by the founders. Quite rightly, critics have been quick to mock these precautions, because at the end of the day, are you exempt from harassment just because you’re over 21?

 

 

This platform encourages individuals to write anything they like from the safety of their keyboard. Once the profile is up you can't remove yourself from it.

Oh and another thing, if someone creates a hateful profile (perhaps it has false information about you or is similar to revenge porn), and you want to report it, it takes up to 48 hours for the profile to be removed. 48 HOURS! Meaning your friends, family members, employees and employers could potentially see this profile.

 

Another terrifying potential threat from this app is that anyone with your mobile number or who happens to be your “friend” on Facebook is able to ‘review’ you. Think about it, anyone that has kept your number over the years (ex partners, old sexual partners, ex best friends, that guy from the club who obsessively messaged you on every possible social media platform despite you never replying) is able to write a review, good or bad about you. The review could cover anything: your appearance, your personality, if you’re good in bed, your embarrassing stories, your secrets. All this can be revealed. Originally, there was not an option to 'opt out.' To report abuse, the victim is forced to sign up to the app. Fortunately due to backlash this has been addressed but there are many other issues that are yet to be solved.

 

Hopefully this app will alter their features to reduce the likelihood of bullying and continue to postpone the launch date until these issues are tackled. If not, let's just hope that people use it positively rather than as a platform of abuse. Let’s have faith in humanity...

 

Edited by Lucy Jackman

 

Sources:

 

www.notey.com

https://4d0850cecf2c5ce919d5-17b283ac00835b5ced4db83c898330a1.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/6211153_peeple-app-described-as-yelp-for-people_bf9a45a6_m.jpg?bg=A5DBD8

www.reddit.com/r/RoastMe

http://www.missmalini.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/roast-9.jpg

https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2015/10/Screenshot-1.jpg

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/yelp-people-app-wont-any-use-hr-molly-moseley