Next up in “this was bound to happen at some point” and “what could possibly go wrong”: two female tech entrepreneurs are set to launch Peeple, an app where you can rate actual people with 1 to 5-star reviews. The company is already valued at $7.6 million, with the app set to launch in November. It will let you rate anyone you know, whether they are signed up for the app or not – and you won’t be able to delete any bad or biased reviews. “People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions. Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?” is how Julia Cordray, one of the app’s founders explains the rationale for the app. Her co-founder, Nicole McCullough, sees it as a tool to decide whom she can trust with her kids. While the founders want to reassure people that there are various “integrity features” built-in to the app — you have to be 21, use your real name, affirm that you know the person you are reviewing, etc. — and say they only want to spread “love and positivity”, the app is already facing a whirlwind of criticism. The Washington Post, for example, says they have failed to address critical issues as “consent and bias and accuracy and the fundamental wrongness of assigning a number value to a person” and called the app inherently invasive, objectifying and reductive. People also took to Twitter to express their disbelief and dismay, and comparing it to the dystopian fiction of the TV-show “Black Mirror”:
so #peeple is what happens when two popular mean girls from your high school grow up & decide to make a slam book for the entire world?
— Sara Schaefer (@saraschaefer1) October 1, 2015
Read the full story at The Washington Post.