The scale of one to ten is used to place value on places and things, but Peeple is a new app designed to rate individuals on this scale. Created by founders Nicole McCullough and Julia Cordray, Peeple has received an overwhelmingly negative response, despite its claim to be “a positive revolution.”
Yik Yak, Yelp, and Rate My Professors are three examples of similar resources where people give their opinions on people and places, and Peeple intends to be another resource.
After Peeple’s creation, it sparked a negative uproar from the public, including death threats to its co-founders. Peeple removed their app and social media outlets since its creation according to Business Insider.
The app intends to re-launch as the founders’ original intentions were to provide a service, despite the reaction it has received according to Entrepreneur.com.
“People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions,” Cordray said. “Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?”
Meghan Cushman, senior family and human services major, believes that this kind of research should not be validated.
“I personally never used apps that use ratings, because I’ve seen and heard of all the hurt it generates,” Cushman said.
She said apps such as Peeple make it easier to hide behind a screen and spread hurt.
“It’s not our job to rate people. People don’t determine who is worthy and who is not. Apps like that give people power to either speak destruction or diminish others,” Cushman said, “I don’t know why hurting people is so fun.”
Emmy Scott, senior family and human services major, said the app has the potential to be relationally devastating.
“The users would begin to create unhealthy comparisons which in turn would create overall discontentment,” Scott said.
Scott said it could boost one’s self-confidence, yet be too much of a booster for egotistical and narcissistic personality types. She said as people, we are all searching for acceptance and when there is an opportunity to find it in other’s opinions, it can become dangerous and have a detrimental effect on society.
“Let’s create an app that encourages people for their kind actions, hard work and overall character instead of creating an app that steals human dignity—an app that encourages people simply because they are a person and have inherent value,” Scott said.
Scott suggested her solution and added, “When you give someone a rating you are essentially saying that there is rubric that humanity is reaching. Giving a human a rating takes their dignity and rips it to shreds.”
On Peeple’s website, forthepeeple.com, their slogan is “Character is destiny” and their tag line is “Join the positive revolution #oct12.”
This hashtag was intended to represent the day that the founders of Peeple “will be taping for an exclusive talk show and expose our concept to the world,” Business Insider reported.
Their website currently has a box to fill out one’s information to be added as a beta tester, powered by Google forms. To rate a person through the app, one must know a person in personal, professional or romantic capacities and use their cell phone number to add them to the database according to Business Insider.
“The intention may be to give positive feedback, but the majority of people just use it to tear people down,” Cushman said.