How would you like the power to judge someone? Everyone already has it and they use it on a daily basis. You judge how people walk, talk, eat fruit and more. Now imagine having that power to judge displayed for everyone to see.
An app is currently in the works called Peeple that has been deemed “Yelp for people.” It allows people to create profiles and place reviews about anyone. Professors, potential roommates and grandmothers alike can be rated on a scale from one to five stars.
The app has yet to be released and people are already afraid of the power it possesses. Many believe it will lead to bullies gaining the power to better vocalize their bias and make certain people feel attacked.
During an interview with CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” Julia Cordray, a co-founder of Peeple, said, “There are a lot of terms and conditions that need to be followed so that all users do have that positive experience.”
However, as many know too well, if people want to attack someone they can find a way to do it without being hindered by any terms and conditions.
This should scare people away from the app. The Peeple app only has as much power as we give it. If the app is taken too seriously, then people will be distraught over every negative comment or one-star rating they receive. It could also lead to people fighting to gain that five-star rating and being devastated when someone gives them a four.
Rating systems like this have been used for a while now. Things like Rate My Professor, Tinder and Facebook have been around for years, letting people share how they feel about others. As long as they are monitored to ensure there is no blatant attacking, they can be used successfully.
In a season five episode of “Community,” a similar concept was featured. An app was introduced to the school that allowed people to rate each other. People with five stars became the kings and queens of the school and the people with one became the untouchables. It wasn’t until Jeff, the main character, gave a speech about not putting power into an app, that the school returned to normal.
Hopefully Peeple won’t go this far, yet the episode still provides people with some great insight.
A rating system can be useful, but should not be taken as law. The more we think, “this is how I’m defined,” the more pain the app will bring us.
Change.org has started a petition against the app and so far it has nearly 7,500 supporters.
People are too afraid of what may be to let things happen. As long as the app is watched and people don’t treat it as law, it can be a useful tool when it comes to determining a roommate, starting a study group or looking for a new employee or employer. It’s all what people make of it; just don’t make it everything.