People are bashing the new Peeple app

Posted at 11:22 AM, Mar 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-08 21:09:24-05

The new Peeple app that launched Monday is designed to let people rate other people, similar to Yelp, but in a much more personal way. People concerned about bullying immediately responded by bashing the creators on social media.

The app lets users leave reviews and ratings for people in three categories: professional, personal and romantic.

"The Peeple app allows you to better choose who you hire, do business with, date, become your neighbors, roommates, landlords/tenants, and watch, teach, and care for your children," the creators state on the website.

"We want character to be a new form of currency," the website states. "Peeple will provide you a safe place to manage your online reputation while protecting your greatest assets by making better decisions about the people around you."

Critics say the app inherently encourages cyberbullying.

"I don't think it's good to meet someone or have any preconceived notions about them before you meet them," said student Aidan Kernan. 

And while the app claims to be a "concept that has never been done before in a digital space," many feel bullying and harassment is something that is already happening too much across social media platforms and in real life. 

"Why are we opening up ourselves to just that emotional...backlash?" said Katy Doughty with anti-bullying organization Be a Friend, Make a Friend.

Celebrities including Dr. Phil and Chrissy Teigen spoke out against the app when developers first announced it in October 2015.

Regular people have spoken out against the app, the people who designed it and even the country it's from.

Peeple's co-creator, Julia Cordray, told Dr. Phil, "With the feedback, we’ve made some really great movements toward more positivity for our app."

The developers added a safeguard before launching the app -- users can opt to hide any review or rating.

"In a change from the original concept, reviews are only posted with the consent of the person being reviewed — that is, the service is opt-in and a user can hide their negative reviews," the Calgary Herald reported.

However, Cordray says Peeple plans to launch a paid subscription option within the next month that will let you see all reviews and ratings. It's called the "truth license."

The Google Play Store gives it the "teen" designation. As of Tuesday morning, it had an overall ranking of 2.5 stars, with the majority of users giving it just one star.