A controversial people review app called Peeple is now available for iPhone users.
Peeple has been described as the “Yelp for people.” However, some worry that the Peeple app will end up being just another untrustworthy tool for angry internet trolls, who already misuse popular social media sites like Facebook and customer review sites like Yelp to do their dirty work.
A number of people and businesses that we know have been targeted by one such internet troll from Houston, Texas – but more on that later.
Regardless of how it is used, Peeple is now officially available for Apple iPhone.
Julia Cordray, one of Peeple’s creators, has a professional background as a job recruiter. This is what led her to help create the Peeple app for managing reputations online. She says that social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are horrible for managing your reputation since it is well known that internet trolls and other people can create numerous fake profiles to attack and libel you.
She points to herself as an example of this. After announcing the Peeple app last fall, Cordray was subjected to all sort of outlandish attacks, insults and threats on social media sites. Cordray even reportedly received death threats as a result of all the controversy that her Peeple app created online.
The idea of having people review each other publicly hit a sensitive spot with a lot of people. However, social media sites are already being used, for better or worse, by your friends and foes for this exact purpose. As a result, people already discount overly positive or negative opinions and reviews that they read online.
According to Cordray, Peeple has been unfairly portrayed as a tool where people can attack each other. In fact, Cordray says that Peeple is really a tool where people can objectively vouch for and recommend one another. Cordray believes that people are currently at the mercy of internet trolls on social media and consumer review sites.
As mentioned earlier, we are aware of one such internet troll and serial lawsuit seeker from Texas who uses multiple accounts on Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Yelp, etc. to positively review and recommend herself online as well as libel and attack other businesses and people. She has a well-documented history of this, which we have had the chance to discuss with numerous people and businesses over the years. A series of internet searches revealed that this woman has a lengthy online record of personal, professional, financial and legal troubles as well as a history of serious mental problems.
This fits the classic psychological profile for internet trolls.
In a Psychology Today article, Internet Trolls Are Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Sadists, Jennifer Goldbeck Ph.D. states that trolls will lie and exaggerate to get attention and notes that these people score extremely high on psychology tests for the “Dark Tetrad” of personality traits, which include narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy and sadism.
Unfortunately, the relative anonymity of the internet has allowed people like this to operate in the land of lies and libel long before apps like Peeple came along. Questionable consumer review sites like Ripoff Report have been a virtual playground for professional cranks, internet trolls and other ne’er-do-wells for a long time and, as a result, these sites have lost any claim to accuracy or credibility.
Time will tell whether or not Peeple becomes another toy for those types of perpetually disturbed and deceitful people. However, it appears that Peeple couldn’t be any worse than the other online tools that are currently used by these serial trolls.
After much criticism and feedback, Cordray says that the current Peeple app has been greatly improved since the original concept went public last year.
For instance, the Peeple app has strengthened identification controls by making users sign up using a verified Facebook account or phone number. Their is also an option for reporting and blocking abusive people like trolls. Furthermore, Peeple does not offer a star-based rating system like you find on most business and product review sites.
Peeple also gives people the option of hiding any reviews that they deem unfair or damaging to their reputation. Users will have total control over the reviews that other people leave about them and reviews will not appear on your profile until you approve them.
However, the company plans to sell and profit from a so-called “Truth License” that will cost users $1.00 per day. This will allows users to see any and all reviews that have been left about you, regardless of whether you have approved the reviews or not.
At least for now, the only way that someone can leave reviews about you on Peeple, is if you use the app yourself and add your own profile to it. So, the best policy is probably not to download the app and use it in the first place.
Based on the lack of user interest thus far, it appears that the Peeple app won’t even make it out of the starting gate let alone reach critical mass like other social media sites and app. It seems like Peeples’ creators are a lot like the people and trolls that they are trying to profit from: desperate attention seekers.
We previously reported on the Peeple app back in October 2015: Meet Peeple – A Creepy New People Review App.