Peeple: The Dystopian App That Lets You Rate Humans

Like we rate restaurants, cars, movies or books on a one-five star scale, soon we’ll be able to rate actual human beings.

Peeple, a startup which already has over seven million-dollar backing, will let anyone who’s ever known you assign you a rating and review, without your consent.

The founders, Julia Cordray and Nicole McCullough said they find no reason why anyone wouldn’t want to showcase their character online; McCullough told the Washington Post that she wanted to create the app to have something that will allow her to determine who she trusts her kids around.

Cordray and McCullough defended their empathy as two women in tech, stressing the app’s “integrity features.” To rate and review someone, you need to show you know them in three categories: personal, professional or romantic. Reviewers must be 21-years or older with a Facebook account. If you want to review someone, you must have that person’s phone number. Positive ratings will post immediately, while negative ratings will be queued for 48 hours to give the chance to dispute it. However, technology isn’t perfect – a bad review can still be posted immediately if stars are high enough, and a 48-hour window isn’t necessarily a strong deterrent from bullying or harassment.

If somebody reviews you, there is no option to opt out of having your profile in the service. Feedback for the app has been overwhelmingly negative: nobody seems to want their character rated and commodified on a one-five star scale. Those worried about the potential for cruelty raise concerns about consent, mental illness, stalking, harassment and representation of people of color.

In an almost absurd response to creating an app dedicated to public unsolicited reviews without consent, Peeple’s Twitter account has been made private.


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About the Author
Setareh Baig is a writer and editor. She recently graduated from Florida State University and served as the editor-in-chief of the school's newspaper, the FSView & Florida Flambeau. You can follow her on Twitter at @heysetareh_.
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