- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Peeple, the “Yelp for People” ratings app that caused a stir upon being unveiled less than a week ago has quietly since disappeared from the web.

The official website, Facebook and Twitter profiles for the supposed social networking app went dark over the weekend amid a massive backlash that brought it to the forefront of criticism from seemingly every direction. Now a statement from one of its developers suggests the app is being revamped and will be officially launched sometime next month.

“Peeple will not be a tool to tell other humans how horrible they are,” Julia Cordray, one of the app’s founders, wrote in a post she published on LinkedIn over the weekend. “Actually, it’s the exact opposite.”

Ms. Cordray said she’s been on the receiving end of death threats and “extremely insulting comments” since the Washington Post profiled her app on Sept. 30, and wrote in her blog post that the response has made her realize “the world needs more love and positivity.”

“Peeple is a POSITIVE ONLY APP. We want to bring positivity and kindness to the world. And now I’m going to use myself as an example for what can happen when negative comments can be made about you without your approval,” Ms. Cordray said.

Immediately following the first reports concerning the app-in-progress last week, a firestorm of criticism quickly amounted against a platform purported to give users the ability to rate friends and acquaintances on par with services more commonly reserved for commercial items.

“People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions,” Ms. Cordray explained to the Post last week. “Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?”

“The Internet is basically a faucet that dispenses hate, racism and the occasional sad orgasm,” television host John Oliver responded on Sunday night’s episode of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight.” “And yet the creators of this app remain oblivious to its lack of appeal.”

“At least I signed up to have the world judge and grade me publicly. I (expletive) hate this app and the boardroom table it was created around,” model Christine Teigen told her nearly one million Twitter followers.

In the midst of the backlash, the app’s developers appeared to have possibly thrown in the towel. All of the videos that had been uploaded to the company’s YouTube page but one disappeared during the course of the weekend, and its Instagram account was set to private. In a separate LinkedIn posting, Ms. Cordray wrote the company had vanished from Twitter because “we felt that Twitter is a place for abuse not business and they don’t do anything to protect it’s users.”

But contrary to early rumors speculating the app was dead in the water — and other reports that attempted to answer whether Peeple was actually an elaborate hoax — Ms. Cordray’s latest remarks suggest an official launch is still in the works. In a statement given to BBC, the co-founder said “we look forward to October 12, 2015 where we will be taping for an exclusive talk show and expose our concept to the world.”


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