After word began to spread about Peeple, the forthcoming “Yelp for humans” app that would let people rank and rate each other, many people online immediately began to denounce the app, labelling it “a terrible idea.“
People also raised concerns about the app’s obvious potential for bullying. Model and social media darling Chrissy Teigen weighed in, calling the app “horrible and scary.” There’s even an online petition with more than 10,000 signatures to stop the launch of the app.
Now, it looks like its founders are switching up their approach.
On Sunday, Peeple cofounder Julia Cordray posted a LinkedIn note in response to the outcry, and it seems Peeple has had a change of heart about several of its most controversial policies. Now, Peeple users won’t have to participate in the site if they don’t want to, plus they will control which “reviews” are made public.
“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,” Cordray writes in her note.
Originally, the FAQ section of Peeple’s website explained the app was not going to have an opt out option for people who didn’t want to be reviewed. However, as of Monday morning, the Peeple website appears (along with the company’s Twitter and Facebook) to have been shut down, first noted by the BBC.
Here’s a screenshot of the FAQ page from Twitter.
Cordray’s note also addressed concerns that users were not going to be able to remove negative comments posted about them on Peeple. Originally, negative comments on Peeple were to be held for 48 hours, giving the comment writer and receiver a chance to work out any issues before the comment went live.
Now, “there is no way to even make negative comments,” Cordray writes. Actually, it seems you can still make negative comments, but they might never see the light of day. Instead, the comment’s recipient has final say over what gets published about their account.
“There is no 48 hour waiting period to remove negative comments,” she writes. “Simply stated, if you don’t explicitly say ‘approve recommendation,’ it will not be visible on our platform.”
Cordray also explains going from “relatively unknown 34-year-old entrepreneur” to a “trending topic on Facebook and Twitter in less than 24 hours” has come at a cost. She’s
received death threats and insults via social media.
However, these only seem to reinforce the reason she wants to launch Peeple and still has “every intention of releasing it at the end of November.”
“I hope now if nothing else by watching me you can clearly see why the world needs more love and positivity,” she writes. “I want the world to be positive and this is how I’m going to inspire it by creating the world’s largest positivity app.”
We’ve reached out to Peeple to get the latest and will update if we hear back.
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