Peeple Is Hiring, According To This LinkedIn Post, But They Also Say They've Made Important Changes
Despite the fact that their app has provoked virtually universal disapproval, the founders of Peeple are hiring, at least if their new LinkedIn post in search of a Chief Technology Officer is to be believed. So does this mean they are going ahead with the launch of their "Yelp for people" app despite of all the backlash? Are they planning to reconfigure the way the app works? Is this really just a very elaborate hoax or performance art piece, as some have hoped? Well, the answers are yes, yes, and probably not — though I suppose it still could be! However, the most important news is that it seems they have made much-needed changes to the app, so real or not, we can all hopefully breathe a little easier now.
In case you missed all the hullabaloo last week, it started when The Washington Post ran a story about Peeple, an app that's currently in development that would allow users to review people in the way Yelp lets you review businesses. As the founders initially envisioned it, there would be no way to opt out of the service, meaning anyone could make a profile for you and you would not be able to have it taken down; nor would you have any way to delete certain comments or even control the privacy settings. Did I mention that no one in the world is exempt? Because that was originally the case.
Naturally, the people of the world did not take kindly to the idea that we are all potentially going to be non-consenting participants in a platform that could potentially trash our reputations or worse.
Still, the founders insisted that they believe people are fundamentally good, and that given the ability to rate and review each other, the vast majority of people will use it positively. Sort of makes you wonder if they've ever been on the Internet before, doesn't it?
However, it seems the criticism did make an impact. According to their new LinkedIn post, Peeple will now be completely voluntary. "Other people will not be able to create a profile on your behalf and especially not without your permission," they explain. Users will also be able to delete any post for any reason, and to deactivate their account at any time, according to this new post.
All of this is remarkably important, given how easy it would be to use the site for doxing (aka, posting people's personal information such as home addresses or bank account numbers). It's also important to give people the ability to control their online footprint, especially people who have been stalked, harassed, or have left abusive relationships and who can thus be made vulnerable even by positive reviews that mention anything specific.
So with all of these changes, will Peeple be the force for good that its founders want it to be? Will it just become a way for people to try to make themselves look good? Is there still something unsavory about rating human beings the way you might rate a restaurant or a product? And will they find a Chief Technology Officer to sign onto their controversial venture?
It all remains to be seen, but based on this post, it seems the app will still be launching in November. So I guess we will get the chance to find out after all.