NEWS8 March 2016

Controversial ‘online reputation’ app Peeple launches

Mobile News North America Trends

CANADA — Social networking app Peeple, which allows users to give feedback on people they have interacted with in personal, professional and romantic scenarios, has launched in the App Store following months of controversy. 

When news of the idea emerged last year, the app’s creators, Julia Cordray and Nicole McCullough, came under intense criticism as Peeple - accused of being 'Yelp for humans’ – was feared to hold potential for cyber bullying and online defamation. The initial app design allowed negative reviews to be live for at least 48 hours before they could be refuted. 

However, several tweaks have been made in the run up to launch, including that there is now no time limit before a negative review can be challenged, users have full control over what goes live on their profile, and there is no more star rating – just a tally of the total number of recommendations each user has received. 

However, a purchasable element to the app is The Truth License, which, when subscribed to, allows users to access everything that has been written about a user, whether it has been published live on their profile or not. 

"In October 2015 Peeple announced itself to the world," the announcement of the launch stated. "The reputation app promised to connect people with each other through honest reviews. The world talked back. People believed Peeple threatened their privacy, was prone to cruel bullying, threats, and abuse.

"Then, something ironic happened. The developers of Peeple were threatened, their privacy was invaded, and they were castigated and shouted down on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook. They were overwhelmed by thousands of harassing emails, comments, and phone calls. All this before the Peeple app ever actually saw the light of day.

"We are a concept that has never been done before in a digital space. We want character to be a new form of currency. Peeple will provide you a safe place to manage your online reputation while protecting your greatest assets by making better decisions about the people around you."