It generated controversy and criticism when word of it first broke back in October, even though Peeple, a people-rating mobile app that was likened to being the “Yelp for people,” hadn’t launched yet. Now, after a number of tweaks to the concept, the people-rating app is finally scheduled to launch today.
Peeple will be available to download for free for iPhones or iPads. The app, which was created by two friends in Calgary, Canada, allows users to rate other users in three categories: personal, professional, and romantic.
The idea is to provide “a reference check for the people around us,” the creators say on their website. “The Peeple app allows you to better choose who you hire, do business with, date, become your neighbors, roommates, landlords/tenants, and watch, teach, and care for your children.”
However, the idea of people posting “reviews” of their neighbors, coworkers, dates and others prompted outrage from critics who saw its potential for abuse as an outlet for bullying or cyber revenge. It became a hot topic on social media, where the prolific tweeter Chrissy Teigen wrote, “In an age where both truth and gossip on the Internet can literally ruin lives, this #peeple app is horrible AND scary.”
In an age where both truth and gossip on the Internet can literally ruin lives, this #peeple app is horrible AND scary #yelpforhumans???
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) October 1, 2015
Perhaps in response to that round of criticism last fall, the Peeple app going public today will not allow users to rate others without their permission. Reviews will only be published with the consent of the person being reviewed. A user can also hide his or her negative reviews. In addition, users must post under their real names, to help encourage civility and accountability.