I don’t actually know Julia Cordray.
We’ve never hung out, and she never hired me to write for her.
Nor have I ever babysat her kids – Julia, do you even have kids? – and I’m pretty sure she’s never fed my cats while I’m on vacation.
I’m going to rate her anyway.
I’m giving her 1 out of 5 stars.
Oh, I know, it’s a terrible rating, but Julia, feel free to contact me to discuss it.
Why the pan, you ask?
Because Cordray and her partner Nicole McCullough are working on the most awful application imaginable, which they’re doing because they’ve decided that people should be subjected to rating systems as if we were all slabs of Yelp meat.
Their app is called Peeple. It’s the result of brainstorming after finding it immeasurably difficult to suss out the character of potential babysitters, neighbors, or dates, given the crusty old techniques that humans have relied on for so long.
Here’s how Cordray described the lightbulb moment in an interview last week with the Alberta Primetime program:
In April 2014, my best friend and co-founder picked up the phone and said, 'You know what? I live in this town-home complex in Southern California, and I've got these neighbors, and I've got teachers teaching my children … but I don't really have a way of looking them up, and I feel like I really should have the ability to find out who somebody is and find out their true character.' And I said, 'Wow, that's a really big problem to solve.' And I was lucky enough that she said, 'Let's solve it together!' and here we are: we thought there should be an app for that.
The app is creating quite a storm. The internet is howling, for a few very good reasons.
For one, there is an app for finding out who somebody “really is.” It’s called “conversation.”
Users can apply the conversation app to the humans they wish to get a read on. Other options include applying the “conversation” app to neighbors, other kids’ parents, and friends who know the person in question.
Yes, there are other applications that you can use to rate people, but those are based on professional relationships: Klout measures your influence, for example, while RateMyProfessor offers the ability to rate professional educators for whose services students have shelled out substantial amounts of money.
The internet is railing against the app for another good reason: namely, it’s poised to inflict itself on any and all of us without our say-so.
Users can sign up for the app through Facebook. Peeple will pull in first name, last name and age, and you have to be over 21 to sign up.
Also, no profiles under 6 months old will be granted access.
Then, users enter their phone numbers, and Peeple will tie its profile to them along with a PIN.
The truly horrible catch – you don’t get caught in the Peeple trap just by creating your own profile, others can create one for you, just by entering your phone number – and Peeple offers no way to delete your profile, once set up.
Only positive reviews will show up on the profiles of people who haven’t signed themselves up, but you won’t be able to read what people have written about you unless you do sign up.
And just what exactly constitutes a bad rating? Is it just based on stars, or can people rake you over the coals in the comments section while still giving you a 5-star review?
You’d never know that you’re being maligned unless you were to sign up.
While “positive” ratings (or, at least, those with a lot of stars) are published immediately, Cordray says that ratings of 2 or fewer stars will trigger a dispute resolution feature.
At that point, the clock starts to run: you’ll have 48 hours to face that person and work it out. Because you have nothing better to do than jump on yet another platform to deal with trolls and malcontents, obviously.
The co-founders’ input: You’re welcome!
We are bold innovators and sending big waves into motion and we will not apologize for that because we love you enough to give you this gift.
If you can’t work out the negative feedback, you can “publicly defend yourself by commenting on the negative review.”
And just why, exactly, do we need this?
To quote SupDaily06’s righteous rant, We don’t.
This app is an invitation for bullying, conceived by people who surely have no experience with the trauma of having to fend off the online wolves.
A petition to ban its launch – by beseeching Apple and Google to keep it out of their app stores – was picking up steam as of Thursday evening.
Regardless of whether the app giants can be talked out of putting Peeple in their app stores, hopefully the app developers will come to their senses and allow opt out.
Julia, Nicole, please do that. I’d say you’re at a zero star rating with most everybody whose comments I’ve read online.
You can do better.
Giving people a choice of whether they want to be Peepled is the first step to getting a few more stars under your belt.
Image of peeple header courtesy of Peeple / forthepeeple.com
28 comments on “Prepare to be rated on a 5-star scale by ‘Peeple’, like it or not”
With so many people caring so much about what others think about them, this is going to be the next ‘bad brother’ in an already sad antisocial media. The simple answer is to think “Who cares?”, there are other things in the word worth spending time for.
“Who cares?”. Excellent question. Let’s say you’re the target of a few malcontents who decide to decimate your profile with negative reviews and comments. Or, worse, somebody decides to create profiles for your children and do the same.
Now think of who might take a quick look. Friends, family, potential employers…the list goes on.
Would you care then?
Probably not, any family, friend or employer who believes more in social media and its rating instead of getting to know the person isn’t worth spending time with. So the ‘who cares’ still works. May need to be brave the face with that attitude but there are others with the same approach.
Totally agree, with both the tone and arguments in the article and with Sammie. I don’t think many people are going to care about this app to even bother signing up. I certainly don’t see numbers approaching critical mass, where we’ll be talking about this in 2 years and seeing articles about people’s ruined reputations… But, it is a despicable idea for an app and deserves to be panned!
Remember back when Facebook started. Most people thought, “who cares”. Now with over 1 billion ‘peeples’ using Facebook, and the added ‘convenience’ to sign up using you Facebook account, this is just going to be an extra app to add to your Farmville et al collection.
Additionally I have to ask you, how many of your friends and family do you know capable of critical (rational not emotion) based thinking? Those I can name spend less time in front of a screen and more time using the ‘conversation app’.
Snopes seems to think it may be a hoax, I hope so, even my 15yo looked at me in shock and said ‘cyber bully alert!’ when I mentioned it to her.
Also are the rumours that it would break laws in UK and EU true too? opening way for suing if it is real?
That was my first thought, too. “Are you sure it isn’t April 1st?”
Even though I’ll be one of the many writers with egg on her face, I’m with your daughter: I hope it’s a hoax too.
Readers, here’s the excellent Snopes dissection: http://m.snopes.com/2015/10/01/peeple/
I’ll look into the legal ramifications.
Legal ramification? Try defamation character to start.
If I give you one star and you think you deserve four, that isn’t going far in court. Neither will factual statements or statements of subjective opinion. If I think my neighbor is a worthless loser, can he prove me wrong in court? I think not likely. These ladies think they have a great idea, but starting something harmful to society is not a great idea even if it does provide a paycheck.
This is a really bad idea.
A while back, I had a party, held at a restaurant. People paid a fixed amount for the food and I paid a very large bar bill. Unfortunately a young immature girl decided to post a review of this. The only poor review on this restaurant. Never mind that we knew the restaurant owner well, and she had gone to a great deal of extra effort for us, without which the party would not have happened.
This stupid post, most of which was completely unjustified, caused us a great deal of trouble and embarrassment.
This idea here magnifies all that is wrong with rating things and is a recipe for cyber bullying of the worst kind. It looks like a more general version of “Rate My Teacher” where all the kids could anonymously slag off their teachers with no comeback whatsoever.
As a general rule, an unhappy customer tells 10 people and a happy customer only tells 1, and this was the case long before the internet came along. Thus, negativity outscores positivity by 10:1.
I expect as soon as this app gets any traction, expect to see libel cases, the European “right to be forgotten” extended to it in the name of privacy, and a whole lot more.
These two ladies seem extremely naïve if they think this app is going to be used by a care bear society to share nothing but love and adoration, in reality it will be used by pathetic trolls and bullies who will rate and provide hateful comments about others who they have a beef with or even worse, people they may not know. If this app is then going to be used for vetting potential job applicants then the person on the receiving end is going to find it very difficult if the company offering a position buys into the app as well and believes any amount of untruth that is written or could think that this persons surrounded in drama, a no no.
This pair need to leave the space cakes and magic mushrooms alone, the sad fact is a lot of people in this world are not nice.
They could better spend their time doing something constructive like teaching proper English grammar and spelling to our youth but I’m sure they are not familiar with either. I wonder how they like that comment?
The best thing to do with this app… Do not even waste your bandwidth to download it.
Bringing back Hot or Not! 🙂
There’s no way this would succeed in the way they mean it to.
The market is geographically huge and scattered, like a dating app, that the only way it would succeed is through a massive marketing campaign.
Furthermore, they might call themselves bold innovators but if this achieves any sort of respectability, the amount of fraud that will occur from this app will flood it into ruin.
And even more… the type of data this would would solicit is so questionable, since someone who still keeps a relationship with a flawed human being would never write anything about that person until a bridge was very clearly burned… in which case all you’re going to get is flames.
This is a perfect example of d***hebaggery at its finest. Looking into my crystal ball of cyber-maliciousness, I can see the following for these 2 twits: Doxing, DDoS, Hacking, and more trolls than a thousand YouTube comment sections. Don’t know about all of you, but my relationships with people are my own ‘friggin’ business, and these mental-midgets can stick their privacy invading app where the sun doesn’t shine.
Assuming it’s not a hoax….
They’ll never be able to keep it online. As soon as a few misogynistic script kiddies get bashed, the site will get an unending stream of DDOS and other attacks, perhaps reaching to the point where no hosting company will have them. If nothing else, it’s a bad business plan.
This app should be named “Slander”. These two ladies obviously have little understanding of the dark side of human nature. Their going to need a lot of money for the lawsuits it will generate.
Maybe “Slandr” to be more ‘hip’.
Yes! Like the “slam books” we all wrote in back in middle school.
Oh Canada. Ashley Madison AND Peeple having their roots in such a friendly place. What’s up with that?
There are two co-founders of this app, the other lives in California according to the story quote.
“For one, there is an app for finding out who somebody “really is.” It’s called “conversation.”
Users can apply the conversation app to the humans they wish to get a read on. Other options include applying the “conversation” app to neighbors, other kids’ parents, and friends who know the person in question.”
You made my day with this part.
Sure did for me too! I read that part and had a nice long laugh lol!
OH this is opening up soooo many cans of worms. Can you say “lawsuit city”?
Many countries, including Canada, have Privacy Commissioners and Human Rights Commissioners. So such a thing could have International ramifications. But hey! It’s not like the USA is not hated enough already!
(BTW… Ashley Madisan at all: The shooting is not over with there…)
Aside from various defamation/libel lawsuits…. to both the founders and to comment makers, you will likely see “wars” between groups of people. These may lead the thing to collapse under its own weight….
And of course, if Sally finds out where Bob lives, well there are guns, knives, crossbows, poison, bombs, cars, and fists….
Then, too, what lawyers, accountants, banks, or other such parties will want to touch such a risk bomb?
We might add various (Mainly USA based, but there are others….) “spy” agencies. And then there will be legitimate requests from government agencies, cops, etc.
This is the king of bad ideas.
I’m pretty sure that if this actually goes live we’ll start seeing an uptick in lawsuits and the murder-suicide rate shortly thereafter. I’d even put money on it.