Thursday, November 5, 2015

‘Peeple’ app, now ‘100-percent opt-in’

Cynthia M. Parkhill's 'Bitstrips' cartoon avatar holds a smart phone-type device. Caption reads, 'Positive or negative? Who's more likely to review?'
Cartoon image created with Bitstrips
As a survivor of bullying, I reacted with concern when I learned about the “Peeple” app, particularly that people could be added without their consent and subjected to negative ratings.

As described by Caitlin Dewey for the Washington Post, the app would let users write reviews and assign one to five stars to anyone whose cell phone number they had (Possessing a person’s cell phone number would enable Peeple users to add that person to the Peeple database. Once in the database, a person could not opt out and would not be able to delete bad or biased reviews.)

This to me seemed an opportunity rife for cyberbullying.

I appreciate Peeple co-founder Julia Cordray admitting, in her LinkedIn long-form post, that those policies were “ill conceived.” And I am sorry that among legitimate criticism of the app, she was subject to abuse and threats.

I believe that by making Peeple 100-percent opt-in and allowing users to “reject any content that they deem unacceptable,” that Peeple comes closer to being the “positivity app” that Ms. Cordray envisions it to be.

Inevitably, it really depends on the tendencies of users. Are people as likely to post a review when they want to build someone up, as they are to tear someone down? Which type of person is more likely to post something online?

1 comment:

  1. It's a sign of progress that a people-rating app (the way you'd review a restaurant on Yelp) is now 100 percent opt-in -- but positive or negative, which type of person is more likely to post his or her comments?


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