Consider this a win for the good guys.
In case you missed it last week (see: Peeple Might Be the Worst Social App Ever), the Peeple app was previewed for a November launch and promised to offer a way for anyone to publicly do an online review of anyone else, as long as some conditions were met. The subject of the reviews would not be able to opt out, and many including us had serious questions about how they would monitor reviews and keep a lid on abuse.
After the initial backlash, it appears that the founders have had second thoughts. Founder Julia Cordray took to LinkedIn yesterday to announce some changes, claiming that the original mission of the app was misunderstood. Perhaps she was smarting from all the abuse that she was taking online. According to her post:
“That’s why Peeple is focused on the positive and ONLY THE POSITIVE as a 100% OPT-IN system. You will NOT be on our platform without your explicit permission. There is no 48-hour waiting period to remove negative comments. There is no way to even make negative comments. Simply stated, if you don’t explicitly say “approve recommendation”, it will not be visible on our platform.”
That is totally different from what was previewed last week, and most likely ensures that the app will not be a hit. Only users who opt in can now be reviewed, and reviews will only become public after the subject approves them.
We’re not saying that you don’t have the right to have a negative opinion of someone – you do. However, a platform that makes it as easy as possible to publicly post negative subjective reviews and cyberbullying is not something the online world needs. Looks like this app will be dead on arrival.
Edit: The website and the company’s social media accounts have gone dark, for now at least.
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