An app that allows anyone you’ve ever met to give you a rating—as if you were a restaurant on Yelp—sounds like a Black Mirror premise. Unfortunately, a Calgary-based startup called Peeple is actually going for it. Aren’t Canadians supposed to be nice?
Imagine all the people who piss you off and vice versa. An ex-lover, an old co-worker, a former friend. According to the Washington Post, any of these people can rate and detail their experiences with you. Talk about your past coming back to haunt you.
“People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions,” co-founder Julia Cordray told the publication. “Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?” The founders then gave their reasons for creating what will surely be a forthcoming shitstain in the tech world. Cordray doesn’t see why you wouldn’t want to “showcase your character” online, while co-founder Nicole McCullough, just wants to know which of her neighbors would be trustworthy enough to babysit her kids.
I feel like you can do these things in other ways. Grab a cup of coffee with a neighbor. Do some good without other people outrightly knowing. Plant a fucking tree. The idea of anyone wanting a Peeple rating to be the utmost proof of their integrity is deeply troubled.
Peeple’s requirements for posting reviews are as follows: you must be at least 21 years of age, have an established Facebook account, and make reviews under your real name. If the person who is being reviewed isn’t on Peeple’s database yet, the user must provide that person’s phone number. Then the person will receive a text letting them know which one of their friends or foes started their profile. This is exactly the kind of thing Alexis Carrington would do if Dynasty had been made in 2015!!!!
And then, when a user gives someone a negative review, the comment doesn’t appear live right away. Instead, it resides in limbo for 48 hours. The person must use this time to try to work it out with the user. Peeple’s FAQ section states, “If you cannot turn a negative into a positive the comment will go live and then you can publicly defend yourself.”
Who has time for this?
“As two empathetic, female entrepreneurs in the tech space, we want to spread love and positivity,” Cordray explained. “We want to operate with thoughtfulness.”
It’s already true that anyone who loves or hates you can publicly air their opinions on social media for anyone to see. This app, however, is directly encouraging those types of actions. Bullying, harassment and stalking are obvious outcomes, and as for the positives, if you really want to compliment someone, here’s an idea: just tell them. Write a recommendation. Send a goddamn Edible Arrangement.
This demon app is scheduled to launch in November.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image via Peeple.