The internet was buzzing last week about the introduction of a new website and app called ‘Peeple’, a Yelp-like app that allowed users to review and assign a one-to-five star rating to anyone they interact with.
While co-founder Julie Cordray attempted to put a positive spin on the idea, the negative influence such an app can have is immediately obvious. “People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions… Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?” Cordray was quoted as saying.
The app even billed itself as the “world’s largest positivity app for positive people”. While the creators of the app had implemented several checks to attempt to ensure the app didn’t simply become a slander-factory, the introduction of the app was countered with an immediate and strong backlash on the internet. The result? It appears as if the website and app have ceased to exist.
Shortly after Cordray posted a blog entry on Linkedin, explaining that she was making changes to the app that banned any negative comments and relied on a “100% opt-in system”, Peeple’s online precense pretty much disappeared.
Visitors that attempted to visit Peeple’s Facebook or Twitter page Sunday noticed that both social media accounts were removed, and the website returned a “not found” error for many users, and a simple splash page for others. Many media outlets and users online have since dubbed the entire project an elaborate hoax, prompting popular myth-debunking website Snopes to look into the whole ordeal.
At the moment, it’s unclear exactly what, if anything, will come of Peeple. Cordray’s Linkedin post insists that the app is not a hoax, and that her and her team “are in fact creating an app called Peeple and have every intention of releasing it at the end of November.” One thing is for sure – if the app is, in fact, released in November, it certainly won’t look like its original iteration.
According to Cordray, the app will be a “positive only app”, and will feature no negative reviews at all, despite her previous statements that such an “all positive” app would be “pointless”. As TheNextWeb points out, the app would essentially become “a network of personal billboards with positive testimonials” – not quite as controversial, or interesting, as the original idea.
If you were one of the millions of internet users that was horrified at the idea of your reputation being tarnished on an online review app, you need not worry any longer – your reputation is safe, for now.