EDITORIAL: ‘Yelp for people’ should stop while it’s ahead

If you’re the type of person who is an avid Facebook stalker, or just likes to get to know everything about a person before you actually meet them, there might be a new app for you.

In November, Peeple is set to launch, an app that lets individuals rate actual people. Just as anyone would rate and review restaurants, hotels and local businesses online, this new social media platform will function the same way, just for people.

The creators of Peeple designed the app to change the way people can learn about each other online, according to the app’s website, ForThePeeple.com. It is supposed to allow us to screen who we do business with, get acquainted with, date, become neighbors or roommates with and  allow to teach our children. Essentially, it allows us to reference check the people around us.

While this might sound like something our society would appreciate, since it would, of course, make Facebook creeping on strangers so much easier, this idea is absurd.

First off, human beings are not businesses or organizations that should be ranked. People should only be judged professionally when they are offering goods or services, and even then, they should not be ranked by the quality of their character. People are complex, and everyone is entitled to have bad days and flaws — nobody is perfect.

Although the app designer mentioned to the LA Times that Peeple is designed to promote positivity, the outcome will be exactly the opposite. People are always quick to point out the flaws of others through online avenues and social media. This has been proven time and time again by looking at sites like Yik Yak, Facebook and Twitter, and the trend will only continue with Peeple.

In addition, for individuals looking to post positive and professional reviews about individuals, they can already do so through LinkedIn, a site designed directly for professional exchange.

Peeple’s website states anti-bullying is promoted through providing users the ability to report others who abuse the site. Also, negative comments go into the personal inbox of the person who got the negative review and then are given the chance to work it out with the reviewer. When 48 hours have passed and nothing has been resolved, the negative review will be made public. Then, you can publicly defend yourself by commenting on the negative review on your profile, according to its website.

You have to work it out with the person who is writing a negative review about you. That doesn’t make sense and isn’t likely to work.

In case that isn’t bad enough, nobody is safe from this app, not even people who don’t make profiles to stay away from the drama. By inputting someone’s phone number, you can make a profile for them and start reviewing them at the strike of a few keys.

The only thing this app will be successful at is creating a negative online atmosphere. This will become a forum for cyberbullying, defamation, libel and flat-out disrespect.

Here’s a thought: Instead of creating yet another app to get to know someone before we actually know them, how about we actually meet them and get to know people the old-school way.