A new people-rating app called Peeple was signaling a debut last fall but it was met with press that was almost exclusively negative. It looked like a bad idea that wasn’t going to get off the ground, which would have been fine with us. We wrote at the time, “Peeple might be the worst app ever.”
Sure enough, the app went into hibernation and was quickly forgotten.
The folks behind Peeple decided to relaunch the app last week and the press are again completely unforgiving.
Chrissy Teigen via CBS News, “In an age where both truth and gossip on the Internet can literally ruin lives, this #peeple app is horrible AND scary.”
The idea behind the app is that new users connect using their Facebook account, then can write a review for any person, positive or negative. You don’t have to be Facebook friends to write a review. If the person you review is not yet a Peeple user, you can invite them to join and see your review.
Imagine your teen getting the following message via Facebook: “Person X has reviewed you. Download the Peeple app to see what they said about you.” There aren’t many teens who would ignore a message like that.
If Peeple takes off, you can expect a new wave of cyberbullying, teacher bashing and random trolling.
To be fair, Peeple users do have some protections, but only if they’re willing to join Peeple. For example, after joining, new users can decide which reviews appear in their profile. If you do choose to join to see the reviews, and make the negative ones hidden, they aren’t deleted, they are just hidden. Only the reviewer can delete a review. And as TechCruch reports, the company plans to open all reviews to paying members at some point in the future.
The app’s stated age limit is 21, but don’t expect that to stop anybody. If your teen downloads Peeple, or is tempted to, we strongly suggest that you discourage them.
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