Internet’s ‘most-hated app’ goes public

Under review: ’We could never have predicted the backlash’ — founder Julia Cordray. © Peeple

Peeple (with two ee’s) — an app which asks users to rate their friends and acquaintances — is launched today. It has already been slammed as creepy. Is there anything good about it?

What’s happening

Last year, before it was even released, Peeple was crowned ‘the internet’s most hated app’. Described as a ‘Yelp for people’, it would allow anyone over 21 to post one- to five-star ratings of anyone else in their lives. There was no ‘opt out’, and no way to delete negative posts.

Find out more

During the outrage that followed, the two founders denied claims that the app would lead to cyberbullying and abuse.

But few agreed. The app was called everything from ‘a bad dream’ to ‘the end of civilisation as we know it’. The reaction was so strong that Peeple’s launch date was postponed while its creators reflected on the world’s ‘viral feedback’.

But Peeple is not the first site to be accused of being creepy. The origins of Facebook lie in Mark Zuckerberg’s FaceMash, which invited its users to compare the attractiveness of other students. In 2011 Yiannis Kakavas created an app that is literally named ‘Creepy’ — it uses data from social media to pinpoint a person’s location. Maybe in comparison, Peeple is not so bad?

Some say…

This app will be good for the world. And most people will use it to tell their friends how much they like them. We already review films and restaurants. What is wrong with checking that a babysitter or potential date is trustworthy? Like it or not, reputation has always been important; Peeple simply translates that fact to the 21st century.

Others think…

No matter how much Peeple’s founders want to believe that humanity is essentially good, the internet often proves otherwise — 73% of internet users have seen someone be harassed online, and 40% have experienced harassment personally. Why on earth would an app that invites people to review each other be any different? Peeple is a terrible idea.

You Decide

  1. Would you be happy for others to review you on Peeple?

Activities

  1. In groups, design a concept for your own app.

Some People Say...

“Character is destiny.”

Peeple

What do you think?

Word Watch

Yelp
An online review service for restaurants, shops and places around the world.
Cyberbullying
Bullying on the internet. Cyber means related to computers or artificial intelligence.
Viral
When an item like a story, photo or video spreads very quickly around the internet.
Review
To assess or evaluate something or someone, to decide and publish what you think.
Harassed
Feeling strained and stressed: to harass is to intimidate (or frighten) or make repeated small scale attacks.

PDF Download

Please click on "Print view" at the top of the page to see a print friendly version of the article.