You scan Yelp to find out what hair salon or restaurant you should hit, but now a new service is letting you do more than just review your new dye job or an appetizer special: it's letting you rate other human beings. Peeple is a new app that allows anyone to post reviews of their peers online, and it's causing plenty of people to freak the eff out.
According to Peeple's official website, Peeple allows users to rank others in three categories: professional, personal, and dating. A perfect score is equated to five stars. In addition to the stars, users can also write a message explaining why they chose the rating they did. In order to keep the experience of Peeple as authentic as possible, only people with a verified cell phone and a Facebook account over six months old can write reviews, so no spambots here.
Peeple is like the holy grail of trolling.— deray mckesson (@deray) October 1, 2015
Of course, it's not positive reviews that people are concerned about when they hear "Yelp for people" - it's the negative ones. In a world where cyberbullying is a huge issue, do we really need another platform to express our negativity? Fortunately, Peeple has a few ways to stop at least some of the chaos: there are no anonymous reviews allowed, so bullies can't hide behind a screen, a la apps like YikYak. Negative reviews also don't go live right away: any reviews of two stars or less will be sent to the reviewed person 48 hours before posting on the site, in hopes that they can work things out with their reviewer.
Another plus? Chronic negative Nancys also won't get away with spewing hate around the site, as every time you rate someone negatively, your own "positivity score" will go down. So even if you do get a negative review, if it's from someone who has a super low positivity score, it'll hold less weight. Peeple certainly sounds scary, but upon further investigation into the app, it's not absolutely terrible. While you can't "opt out" of being reviewed on the app, your negative reviews won't be seen by anyone unless you sign up. (Of course you do need to sign up in order to see your own reviews at all, but borrowing a friend's account is always possible, right?)
Personally, I don't think that Peeple needs to exist, but I'd much rather join a site like Peeple where everyone has to lay their cards out on the table than a site which has its users remain anonymous. Cyberbullying is certainly possible on Peeple, but probably not much more likely than Facebook, Twitter, or any of the site's you already use - there's no need to freak about this one.