Peeple, a forthcoming app that will allow users to post 1 to 5-star reviews of others, is pissing off the entire internet, including supermodel Chrissy Teigen.
The hate for Peeple—and for its creators Nicole McCullough and Julia Cordray as well, if social media commentary directed their way is any indication—went into overdrive after the Washington Post published this report by Caitlin Dewey on the app: "Everyone you know will be able to rate you on the terrifying ‘Yelp for people’ — whether you want them to or not."
Dewey explained the "terrifying" aspects of Peeple concisely:
When the app does launch, probably in late November, you will be able to assign reviews and one- to five-star ratings to everyone you know: your exes, your co-workers, the old guy who lives next door. You can’t opt out — once someone puts your name in the Peeple system, it’s there unless you violate the site’s terms of service. And you can’t delete bad or biased reviews — that would defeat the whole purpose.
In an attempt to respond to the tsunami of criticism that followed the Post article, app CEO Cordray spoke with the Calgary Metro News. Metro reported Cordray said Peeple would be "a center for online positivity" because there would be no anonymity. That's because users must sign up with a Facebook account that is at least 6 months old and a cell phone number. "We don’t think people are going to be playing small on this app but the ones who do are just going to look like idiots," Cordray told Metro News like someone who has apparently never used the internet.
Metro News also quoted from Peeple's FAQ, one of the facts about Peeple that enraged Chrissy Teigen—others can create a profile for you whether you like it or not: "You will need their cell phone number to start their profile and they will receive a text that you were the person to start their profile and that they should check out what you said about them on our app."
Naturally, Peeple has inspired a Twitter parody, and many fans of cult comedy hit Community pointed out that Peeple was pretty much the same thing as MeowMeowBeenz, a social media app beta-tested at the show's fictional community college that sends life there into an apocalyptic tailspin.
Peeple, as revolting—or to be kind to its creators, as clueless—as it seems, isn't going to destroy the world or set up a new sort of dystopia. After all, there's literally nothing stopping anyone from "reviewing" any other person already. It's called the internet. Blogs and twitter make it pretty easy for people to share their thoughts, good or bad. and we do, nonstop.
Peeple is essentially stupid, sure, but things like Lulu—an app with a similar concept but more choice for the people under "review"—have existed forever, and the world's infrastructure didn't crumble.
We're on Team Teigen. Everything Peeple wants to do is already being done—don't add more crap to that judgmental pile. The Austin, Texas home security company Peeple as well as Twitter's human resources folks would also appreciate it if this ridiculous app went away.
Photos by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage