People Against ‘Peeple’

Dane Dorius, Reporter

Any schmuck’s been able to review any restaurant, movie, album, or video game online for a while now, with sites like Yelp, Rotten Tomatoes, and MetaCritic. Two women from San Francisco are creating the next step for this system of online reviews. With the power of Peeple, you can add any of your friends or enemies with their phone number (and that’s just telling them “You have a Peeple, check out what people are saying about you!”), write a review of them, and post it online.

The main tenet of Peeple is that you can’t remove any negative comments, change privacy settings, or delete your account- it’d kill the purpose of the app! Instead, if a review is two stars or less, it’s private for two days so that you can privately resolve the negative review- if you can’t get them to back down, whatever slander they’ve written will go up on your account. Additionally, what’s stopping people from simply making their review three stars and saying something like “John Doe ate my puppy”?

Imagine if an abuser finds your Peeple. You could get harassed with personal attacks, and there would be no way to make your account private, delete it, or remove the abuse from your page. That’s just a worst-case, though. For people who’re lucky enough to not deal with people like that, you still have an account you can’t delete and a target painted on your back if you anger anyone online.

After the massive backlash from the reveal of this heaven for abuse, judgement, and troll-bait, the people behind Peeple have utterly vanished from the internet. Their website has had all information about the creators and investors scrubbed, now only saying “Join the positive revolution.” The site’s been so abandoned, in fact, that the only news of the Oct 12 release being delayed to October 30 was only discovered on one of the creator’s LinkedIn accounts. Perhaps Peeple is retooling itself, or maybe they’re just hiding for a few weeks to let this blow over. Either way, it’s still lurking, ready for the intersection of the internet’s dregs and the vapidity of reality to come along and ruin everything, come its release.