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checklist and pencilPeeple, the app also known as “Yelp for people,” allows users to rate humans beings as if they were a business. To some, this app is as impersonal as things can get. To others, it’s an app that revolutionizes the way we look at relationships. Let’s weigh the differences.

Cons:

  • The original idea behind the app was to have users share their opinions and experiences (both positive and negative) about other people through ratings and reviews. The ability to post negative reviews about a person opens a channel for people to criticize, judge, and bully via the Internet.
  • Peeple’s numerical ratings are questionable because those ratings are ultimately based on one person’s perception of another person. Who is to say that a person will react the same way no matter the context he or she is surrounded with?
  • The validity of Peeple’s reviews are also questionable. Aside from the fact that the reviews are opinions, you are reading reviews written by users you don’t necessarily know. Therefore, from a user’s perspective, Peeple’s reviewers are not real; they are not people in your inner circle who you trust. They are simply a username with some sort of contact information, possibly a profile picture, and a biased anecdote to tell.

Pros:

  • The people being rated have access to whoever rated them. So for example, if someone received a negative review, the person being rated could contact the user who rated them and have an opportunity to hash out whatever issue lead the reviewer to give the negative review.
  • According to The Peak’s article on Peeple, the app’s importance stems from the fact that it fosters an upfront and honest social media environment, “while the Internet is known for shady message boards, subreddits, Twitter feuds, and whatever else, most of these forums are anonymous. Peeple, in its original state, aimed to remove this anonymity…This would have allowed the receiver to either call the reviewer out, or write a response to the negative review.”
  • In the midst of the public’s backlash and criticism, founders Julia Cordray and Nicole McCullough modified their concept behind Peeple. The app now only offers positive reviews instead of both positive and negative reviews.
  • A rating and/or review about a person will not be visible on the app unless that person provides explicit permission to Peeple.

Even though it seems like Peeple has more pros than cons, especially after the app toned down its original intentions and shifted into an app that is all about positivity, the fact is that people are getting tired of these kind of impersonal and unreal social media platforms. They are slowly starting to crave the good ol’ face-to-face chat rooms and the real warmth of a person-to-person interaction. Perhaps the whole point of Peeple is to do precisely what is has done, remind us of who we are.