Peeple, the controversial mobile app which would allow users to rate other people the way they would a restaurant or business, was made available for download March 7.
According to the creators, the app functions as “reference check for the people around us…the Peeple app allows you to better choose who you hire, do business with, date, become your neighbours, roommates, landlords/tenants, and watch, teach, and care for your children.”
Users will be able to rate each other in three categories: personal, professional, and romantic. It is important to note that that users will not be allowed to rate others without their permission, and reviews will only be published with the consent of those being reviewed. Users can hide their negative reviews, and reviews must be posted under their real names.
These privacy measures may be in part due to the backlash Peeple received when it was announced in October 2015. Many were concerned about the potential for abuse, including use of the app for cyber-bullying. Blogger Ella Dawson alleges that the app will “profit from harassment,” and model Chrissy Teigen called it “horrible and scary.”
The app’s developers, Nicole McCullough and Julia Cordray, do plan on releasing a paid feature in April called the “truth license,” which will allow users to access every review, even those that are hidden.
In a statement on the app’s website, McCullough and Cordray stated “We do not tolerate profanity, bullying … name calling, degrading comments, abuse, derogatory comments, sexual references, racism, legal references, hateful content, sexism, and other parameters.”