Peeple, a forthcoming mobile app that lets users rate people like they rate restaurants on Yelp, has sparked major backlash ahead of its scheduled November release.
"People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions," said Julia Cordray, one of the app’s founders, The Washington Post reported
. "Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?"
Cordray says she thinks people will like the app because it will give them a public venue to showcase themselves online, while co-founder Nicole McCullough said that she will use it to find trustworthy neighbors with whom to trust her kids.
"As two empathetic, female entrepreneurs in the tech space, we want to spread love and positivity. We want to operate with thoughtfulness," said Cordray.
Many, however, remain skeptical.
"It's like getting a FICO score for life — another popularity contest that creates opportunities for abuse," wrote Jeff Yang of CNN
. He thinks Peeple will quickly become "a tool that promises to bring the same knee-jerk assessments, slanted critiques, shady vendettas and corrosive ranting that Yelp and other crowdsourced review platforms bring to small business, products, travel, literature, film and television and basically everything else in our lives."
Peeple's cofounders say they've built in safeguards to protect against abuse. To use the product, for example, you must be 21, have an established Facebook account, use your real name to leave reviews, and have the phone number of the person you're reviewing. Your review will also be slotted into one of three categories: personal, professional, or dating.
Beyond those factors, Cordray and McCullough recently explained that positive reviews will post to the public immediately, while negative reviews are sent to the person being reviewed. Once received, they'll have 48 hours to dispute the review, and leave a public rebuttal.
On Thursday, the founders responded to criticism that has recently flooded into their comment sections, saying they are committed to listening and improving the product based on feedback.
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