Wednesday 26 June 2019

New app 'Peeple' allows users to rate human interaction - but existing 'Peeple' company aren't pleased

Online reaction to the idea has not been kind

TV show Community predicted the app to rate other people
TV show Community predicted the app to rate other people

Clare Cullen

A new app called Peeple allows users to rate other people - but an existing company of the same name is not best pleased with the attention the controversial app has been getting.

The app works as a "reference check" for people, by giving each person a score based on feedback from people who have interacted with them.

According to the website, the app can be used to allow users to "better choose who we hire, do business with, date, become our neighbours, roommates, landlords/tenants, and teach our children".

Peeple is being described as a 'Yelp for people' and has gained notoriety after going viral online. Chris Chuter, founder of the 'Peeple' product in the UK (a smart, internet-enabled peephole to let you see who is at your door from anywhere on your mobile device) is not happy that the beta app has the same name as his company, which just won $150,000 in the UK and took second place at Tech Crunch Disrupt in January.

The app is reminiscent of one which featured in fictional sitcom 'Community' called 'Meow Meow Beenz'. In this app, users would rate each other by giving beans. In the popular show, the app led to the beta-testing students creating a dustopian society based on app ranking - replacing popularity in the school structure with a more roman-esque system of rulers (People with a 5/5 score) and those with a score of 1/5 being banished. The episode ended with all students making a pact to delete the app and restore the natural order.

Founder Julia Cordray, from Calgary in Canada, described the app as a ""positivity app for positive people" but the negative reaction online to the app's presence caused Cordray to retreat to Twitter, writing "Bullying IS WHAT YOU ARE DOING and that is what are [sic] app is NOT. You are the reason we have an app".

Read more: Founder of app for rating people 'bullied' and doxxed online 

Questions have been raised as to whether or not the app is a hoax, with one theory that the 'app' could be a clever marketing campaign to raise awareness for anti-bullying month.

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