Common Peeple
September 30, 2015 11:52 AM   Subscribe

 
"A++++++ would go through labor again" -Mom
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:54 AM on September 30, 2015 [130 favorites]


Oh, I can't wait for the inevitable shitstorm of legal issues that these two get. It'll be great to see all that VC money just poured down another hole of stupidity.
posted by xingcat at 11:56 AM on September 30, 2015 [36 favorites]


What is their business model?
posted by demiurge at 11:56 AM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Funny how often we hear about these apps that haven't come out yet or attained any measure of organic popularity. I'm genuinely curious how they start showing up in the media.
posted by zixyer at 11:57 AM on September 30, 2015 [18 favorites]


What is their business model?

blackmailGetting people to pay to have negative comments removed?
posted by backseatpilot at 11:58 AM on September 30, 2015 [64 favorites]


how could this ever go wrong?
posted by triggerfinger at 11:59 AM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


SECRETS ARE LIES. CARING IS SHARING. PRIVACY IS THEFT.
posted by joan_holloway at 12:01 PM on September 30, 2015 [111 favorites]


I can't see those going anywhere.

First off, think professional; when's the last time you saw a professional openly slag another on a recorded medium? Except in cases of grevious misconduct, it just isn't done! The consequences are too great. And with employers/employees, it's much worse! So you just end up with positive comments, and it just ends up like a much more useless linkedin.

Romantically, everyone will just use it to libel their exes. Useless and litigatable.
posted by Mitrovarr at 12:01 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


"If you haven’t registered for the site, and thus can’t contest those negative ratings, your profile only shows positive reviews." says the article. I would like to believe this means no-one would be stupid or naive enough--or arrogant enough--to sign up for it. But I don't have that much faith in people.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:02 PM on September 30, 2015 [22 favorites]


Cool! I didn't know the new season of Black Mirror had even started filming yet.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:02 PM on September 30, 2015 [130 favorites]


So.. I read the article.

1) It does sound kind of awful!

2) Negative reviews only go up if you yourself have signed up. If you never sign up, only positive reviews show up under your name. As a result, this is maybe not 100% as terrible as it seems on the surface.

2a) It doesn't say how a positive review is determined; if it's just self-selecting and auto-posting, I can totally imagine someone writing "THIS PERSON EATS BABIES" and marking it Positive. Maybe that would make it obvious BS, but you never know.
posted by curious nu at 12:02 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


When the app does launch, probably in late November

Meaning they'll launch next year after pivoting 3 or 4 more times based of VC feedback. My prediction: People will then be an enterprise app which helps sharing-economy apps track customer ratings across platforms (like, imagine if your Uber driver has access to your AirBNB rating).
posted by muddgirl at 12:03 PM on September 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


I'm genuinely curious how they start showing up in the media.

sometimes the companies offer reporters equity in exchange for stories. Obviously that's an extreme case and I think more of it might just laziness on the part of the journalist, who gets an interesting story handed to them on a platter.
posted by vogon_poet at 12:03 PM on September 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Cool! I didn't know the new season of Black Mirror had even started filming yet.

The Gang Inhabits A Twisted Techno-Dystopia
posted by theodolite at 12:03 PM on September 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Cordray sees no reason you wouldn’t want to “showcase your character” online. Co-founder Nicole McCullough comes at the app from a different angle: As a mother of two in an era when people don’t always know their neighbors, she wanted something to help her decide whom to trust with her kids.

Given the importance of those kinds of decisions, Peeple’s “integrity features” are fairly rigorous — as Cordray will reassure you, in the most vehement terms, if you raise any concerns about shaming or bullying on the service. To review someone, you must be 21 and have an established Facebook account, and you must make reviews under your real name.

You must also affirm that you “know” the person in one of three categories: personal, professional or romantic. To add someone to the database who has not been reviewed before, you must have that person’s phone number.
...
Positive ratings post immediately; negative ratings are queued in a private inbox for 48 hours in case of disputes. If you haven’t registered for the site, and thus can’t contest those negative ratings, your profile only shows positive reviews.
...
In fact, as repeat studies of Rate My Professor have shown, ratings typically reflect the biases of the reviewer more than they do the actual skills of the teacher: On RMP, professors whom students consider attractive are way more likely to be given high ratings, and men and women are evaluated on totally different traits.
Yeeeaaaahhh... Good luck with this.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:03 PM on September 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


"If you haven’t registered for the site, and thus can’t contest those negative ratings, your profile only shows positive reviews." says the article. I would like to believe this means no-one would be stupid or naive enough--or arrogant enough--to sign up for it. But I don't have that much faith in people.

I have a lot of faith that apps which require the network effect to take off and are providing no meaningful or technologically significant service will fail pretty quickly.
posted by zixyer at 12:05 PM on September 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


I am changing my name to eyeball kid.
posted by y2karl at 12:05 PM on September 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


If you haven’t registered for the site, and thus can’t contest those negative ratings, your profile only shows positive reviews.
Why the hell would anyone sign up then?

Also the ability for pickup artists to game this seems like this is going to be a lawsuit waiting to happen.

zixyer: "I'm genuinely curious how they start showing up in the media."

Press releases. Lots of media routinely will run any intelligent thing submitted to fill air/inches. One of my siblings was involved in this sort of thing and I was amazed what they could accomplished just by sending out a release.
posted by Mitheral at 12:05 PM on September 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


"If you haven’t registered for the site, and thus can’t contest those negative ratings, your profile only shows positive reviews." says the article. I would like to believe this means no-one would be stupid or naive enough--or arrogant enough--to sign up for it. But I don't have that much faith in people.

I originally took this to mean "your profile will only show you positive reviews" - ie, someone could post a negative review, but its subject would only see the positive ones. So an HR department, for instance, could register and see negative reviews that their subject wouldn't know about. That's not correct, is it?

Is it that basically people can only review you negatively if you register?
posted by Frowner at 12:05 PM on September 30, 2015


This just seems like a hilariously terrible idea, too. But also super mass-surveillance-y.
posted by Frowner at 12:06 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Is it that basically people can only review you negatively if you register?

That was my reading.
posted by curious nu at 12:07 PM on September 30, 2015


I'm sure there's no valid reason to fear the coming of Meow Meow Beenz.
posted by pie ninja at 12:07 PM on September 30, 2015 [43 favorites]


My guess is that you need to register in order to post a review, so if you want to say something shitty about someone then you need to open yourself up to receiving shitty reviews.
posted by joan_holloway at 12:08 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


If you haven’t registered for the site, and thus can’t contest those negative ratings, your profile only shows positive reviews.

Ah good it's not like millions of twelve-year-old girls are already grandmasters at subtly insulting their peers while ostensibly saying something positive about them
posted by Greg Nog at 12:09 PM on September 30, 2015 [82 favorites]


I think my favorite part is that having a facebook profile is considered a "rigorous integrity feature".
posted by spinturtle at 12:09 PM on September 30, 2015 [51 favorites]


My guess is that you need to register in order to post a review, so if you want to say something shitty about someone then you need to open yourself up to receiving shitty reviews.

Mutually assured destruction! A strange game. The only winning move etc.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:11 PM on September 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


Mitheral: Lots of media routinely will run any intelligent thing submitted to fill air/inches.

Yup, especially in the tech world.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:11 PM on September 30, 2015


Hidden way down in the list of things causing me disgust and anger over this woman's mean girl slambook business idea is my rejection of the idea that you can even review "people" in this manner.

Of course, you can review your satisfaction with a business or quantify your experience of a restaurant at a meal. You can say whether or not you'd recommend a babysitter or a lawn service. But interpersonal relationships do not work that way. Even without getting into whether or not they should work that way, they don't.

It is not even just that how you would rate a romantic relationship once it's over will change with time. It is also that how you rate a romantic relationship is almost entirely about your own expectations of that relationship and your ability to work toward it. The only thing useful anyone could possibly get out of rating other people is some self examination of the "If everyone you meet is an asshole, consider the common denominator" sort.

And that will never happen, particularly amongst the self-absorbed who believe that making it easier for people to be unkind to one another is a good idea.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:12 PM on September 30, 2015 [29 favorites]


Good. We can finally all report on one another in an easy-to-access database. I was getting tired of contacting my local party chairman to inform him of subversive, communistic tendencies in all of my neighbors.

Especially their cats....
posted by glaucon at 12:13 PM on September 30, 2015 [22 favorites]


I think my favorite part is that having a facebook profile is considered a "rigorous integrity feature".

Good luck negging Bobby Tables and Vivian #NotYourShield back after they trash you.
posted by Artw at 12:15 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Seriously, this is giving me a panic attack. Tech savvy mefites, please tell me that this isn't something where there could be a whole huge file of random, stupid or slanderous material about someone in an easy to locate, allegedly integrity-possessing site that would be, for instance, accessible to potential employers. This just seems like it's going to be incredibly useful for....jeez, outing trans people, promoting the stalking and harassment of independent journalists, basically ruining the employability of someone you don't like, etc.
posted by Frowner at 12:15 PM on September 30, 2015 [52 favorites]


Will they have an API? Can I commission Ignignokt to write me a review-bot? It will use the word "pungent" a lot along with the sad face emoji.

Also, this website is the most terrible idea that we all knew damn well was coming sooner or later.
posted by bondcliff at 12:16 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


So an HR department, for instance, could register and see negative reviews that their subject wouldn't know about. That's not correct, is it?

I would bet that a significant portion of their profit model will be Peeple Plus, which allows Plus users access to even unpublished comments.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:16 PM on September 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


Is this article just describing it wrong? It really doesn't make sense.

If it only shows good reviews until you make an account, why would anyone make an account? Also, if it shows everyone without accounts as rosy, then it isn't useful for their example of deciding which neighbors will eat your kids or give them cigarettes or whatever it is you're terrified of them doing.

Maybe before you have an account it still counts the negative views in computing the total rating, but doesn't actually show anyone the text of why people don't like you? I don't know.

This kind of thing would make more sense if it were more social networky - a web of trust kind of thing, where you say how much you trust each of your own contacts' integrity/judgement/etc, and then it could navigate that graph to calculate personalized reputations for people you don't know. But without that you're just saying you might not trust a person, but you sure trust a pile of other people to first of all be real people and then also to accurately say whether you should trust that person.
posted by aubilenon at 12:16 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think the negative reviews thing is you only see negative reviews of anyone if you've set up an account. The idea is that people will just be dying to know if they have any negative reviews, and so everyone is going to sign up for this pointless app.
posted by zixyer at 12:16 PM on September 30, 2015


What is their business model?

Monetizing cyber-bullying, afaikt.
posted by bonehead at 12:18 PM on September 30, 2015 [35 favorites]


If it only shows good reviews until you make an account, why would anyone make an account?

I have a strange feeling we're all way underestimating the number of people who are going to sign up for this on the first day.

I mean, there's an entire zit popping community on YouTube.
posted by bondcliff at 12:19 PM on September 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Welp, I'm screwed.
posted by SassHat at 12:19 PM on September 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Mitheral: "Press releases. Lots of media routinely will run any intelligent thing submitted to fill air/inches. One of my siblings was involved in this sort of thing and I was amazed what they could accomplished just by sending out a release."

Back in the dark ages of fax and print, it was, "Lowliest news peon working tonight, go check the fax and pick a press release from that pile of nonsense that you can retype to fill this exact space." "Does it have to be relevant?" "No, it's for the bottom of a column on page 18, pick anything you want." Or, "Here's a stack of 22 album press releases for CDs nobody will ever listen to, pick six and make a 'releasing today' infobox to fill this column."

Typically we just ran the informational first couple of paragraphs and left out all the bloviating filler quotes. Sort-of depended on the news peon whether he picked something actually informational, or the one with the dirtiest word used in a non-dirty fashion.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:19 PM on September 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Is it that basically people can only review you negatively if you register?

It should mean that, but I don't think that it does.

It reads to me like 'people can review you negatively, but we don't share that information with anyone on purpose unless and until you do register; until then, we'll keep those reviews handy and totally secure and definitely not anywhere where anyone could steal them ever. If you do register, you'll have 48 hours to contest the negative reviews you've accrued or they'll be made public.'
posted by cjelli at 12:19 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I like this idea, and I want to sign up for it. You see, I think I'm an utterly loathsome excuse for a lifeform who leaves nothing but devastation and misery in his wake, but for as-yet-undetermined reasons (kindness, malice, selfishness) nobody I know is willing to explicitly confirm this. If I opened an account on this service to receive reviews from more objective parties, there could be three possible outcomes:
  • I receive uniformly positive reviews. I conclude that my perception is wrong, and that I am a likable person deserving of affection. Encouraged, I endeavor to improve my self-image, and everyone benefits.
  • I receive negative reviews. My worst suspicions are confirmed. I am freed to extract myself from society with a clear conscience, knowing that I am acting in the best interests of others.
  • I receive no reviews. I am revealed to be an utter nonentity who contributes nothing. Once again, I am freed to remove myself so that I no longer monopolize the resources that could be better utilized elsewhere.
No matter what the outcome, it's a win!
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:21 PM on September 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


If it only shows good reviews until you make an account, why would anyone make an account?

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence etc. etc.

This app is clearly designed by idiots who think a facebook account is a "rigorous" identification mechanism. It's not going to be successful, it's going to become a laughingstock and sink into ignominy. Just because you have an idea doesn't mean it's a good one. This is going to become an element of some kind of background check, which goes like this: is $PERSON registered on People? If yes, do not hire them/loan to them. If not, great, continue to step 2, which is completely ignoring their People score.
posted by axiom at 12:22 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is actually literally from their FAQ, apparently:

EXCLUSIVE - From the Peeple FAQ

Q: Can I start someone else's profile?
Yes. You will need their cell phone number to start their profile and they will receive a text that you were the person to start their profile and that they should check out what you said about them on our app.

Q: Can Google pick up on anything from the app?
Google does not have access to the information that is in our app. The only information that Google will have access to is if another user shares the comments they made about you or you share the comments made about them or yourself with our share features. If a profile is unclaimed there is no sharing capability on what has been said on it.

Q: How long do negative reviews last on my profile?
Your reviews will only go back one year. We know that you grow and change for the better and we want you to be able to have your best foot forward at all times year over year.

Q: What happens if someone bullies me?
You will be able to report any bullying in the comments you receive and we will be able to remove the comment and remove the user who violated our terms and conditions.

Q: Can I take myself off of Peeple?
No. Not at this time. We may consider this feature in the future.


So basically, your ex could start a profile for you if they have your cell phone number AND YOU CANNOT DELETE IT. That is just such a fucking unbelievably bad idea that I cannot.
posted by Frowner at 12:23 PM on September 30, 2015 [138 favorites]


I'd like to add you to my professional network on MetaFilter.
posted by Wordshore at 12:23 PM on September 30, 2015 [27 favorites]


If it only shows good reviews until you make an account, why would anyone make an account?

13 year-olds will do any number of foolish things.
posted by bonehead at 12:23 PM on September 30, 2015


To add someone to the database who has not been reviewed before, you must have that person’s phone number.

So basically anyone with access to your number can add you without your consent. Nasty.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 12:24 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


The founders sound like real shitheels. To libel someone, simply:

1. Get a photo of them.
2. Create a new email account.
3. Create a Facebook account with the photo and email under their name.
4. Sign that account up for Peeple.
5. Write some nasty stuff about them, which will be made public in 48 hours.
posted by grumpybear69 at 12:24 PM on September 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Positive ratings post immediately; negative ratings are queued in a private inbox for 48 hours in case of disputes. If you haven’t registered for the site, and thus can’t contest those negative ratings, your profile only shows positive reviews.

I do think this is actually in line with the more positive interpretation, or at the very least, they certainly want to give that impression; if you can't contest the ratings they won't post them.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 12:25 PM on September 30, 2015


They have Pee in their name.
posted by Annika Cicada at 12:25 PM on September 30, 2015 [52 favorites]


Isn't it illegal not to have an opt-out?
posted by Windigo at 12:26 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


As a mother of two in an era when people don’t always know their neighbors, she wanted something to help her decide whom to trust with her kids.

Gee, it's a good thing review sites like these can't possibly be gamed, except, you know, always.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:26 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


From the Peeple FAQ

Notably, Facebook has similar anti-abuse policies. One can point to any number of cases, many of which have made the front page here, where Facebook comments have facilitated bullying, abuse and suicides. This enables even more direct abuse than Facebook, in my view.
posted by bonehead at 12:27 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


So basically, your ex could start a profile for you if they have your cell phone number AND YOU CANNOT DELETE IT.

Yes, but if you don't register, they can only leave positive reviews! Like about how you are totally NOT A COMPLETE GARBAGE PERSON and you NEVER, EVER accidentally locked your kid out on the back porch for 36 hours and THE LAST THING THEY CAN CONCEIVE OF YOU DOING is starting SEVERAL FREEBASING FIRES IN THE BATHROOM because you are a TOTALLY FIVE-STAR, AWESOME PERSON LOLOLOL WOULD WASTE THE BEST YEARS OF MY LIFE WITH AGAIN
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:27 PM on September 30, 2015 [71 favorites]


Your reviews will only go back one year. We know that you grow and change for the better and we want you to be able to have your best foot forward at all times year over year.

*registers PeepleArchive.com. Spends ten minutes writing a tool to scrape reviews and archive them forever. *

they will receive a text

Holy shit so these assholes are going to send me texts, too?
posted by bondcliff at 12:27 PM on September 30, 2015 [21 favorites]


(that said it would be, as grumpybear points out, trivially easy to game that system, and these people are absolute scum.)
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 12:27 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


This idea of letting anyone with your cell phone number create an account for you is fucking insane. Dangerously fucking insane. The lawsuits will start on day one of this idiotic product launch.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 12:28 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


> So basically, your ex could start a profile for you if they have your cell phone number AND YOU CANNOT DELETE IT.

Not only that, but they get to play "I'm not touching you" by making sure that you know they're talking about you, what with the text notification.

This is like someone looked at the last 5 years of internet harassment and decided that what it really needed was VC backing.
posted by postcommunism at 12:28 PM on September 30, 2015 [88 favorites]


If this won't be killed with fire, I don't want on this planet anymore.
posted by numaner at 12:28 PM on September 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


How will they even verify the number belongs to anyone? I could (were I eviler) set up a profile for someone, and use a number from a burner phone, and approve it myself. This thing will never get off the ground, but if it does, the lawsuits will be stupendous.

Any HR department that gives off the merest suggestion of consulting this will have people lining up to sue them.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:28 PM on September 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


FWIW, Klout appears to still exist.
posted by Artw at 12:30 PM on September 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


The implication might be that the text includes a call to action to actually enable the account, but that's an awfully charitable read given the tremendous badness of the idea in toto.
posted by cortex at 12:30 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


That windy path is possible for Peeple too, Cordray says: True to her site’s radical philosophy, she has promised to take any and all criticism as feedback.

Interesting, then, that the YouTube video linked to in the article, the one that apparently shows her as being visibly annoyed that she couldn't automagically scrape names from Facebook, has been deleted.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:31 PM on September 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


So this is the Free2Play model for being a human?
posted by oceanjesse at 12:31 PM on September 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


To be honest, this brings me pretty close to tears. Granted, I'm having a really shitty day, but a big part of the shittiness of my day is dealing with awful, judgmental people. I don't want to be given a number score by anyone, even if it is "positive."

And can you imagine when their site inevitably gets hacked and all of the hidden negative reviews are suddenly spewed all over the internet and made discoverable? Ugh.
posted by Mouse Army at 12:32 PM on September 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


The best part will be when a script kiddie scripts a bazillion possible phone number combinations into this thing, DOS'ing their 10-cents-per-message SMS gateway and bankrupting them on day 3 post-launch.
posted by Annika Cicada at 12:33 PM on September 30, 2015 [20 favorites]


Needs Facebook so it's only for old people LOL.
posted by clvrmnky at 12:33 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Your reviews will only go back one year.

But, like, that's just the time stamp, obviously. Humans have memories that go back longer than that, and are capable of copy/pasting grudge-rants every year.

Fuck everything about this.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:33 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I also hate the underlying premise of 'give your friends and family a numerical rating, quantifying their value as human beings!' Even if there is zero bullying and the whole thing is just people giving their favourite ex 5/5 for compassion or whatever, I hate it and want it to go away.
posted by Aravis76 at 12:33 PM on September 30, 2015 [17 favorites]


"If you haven’t registered for the site, and thus can’t contest those negative ratings, your profile only shows positive reviews."

Okay, so basically the whole idea sounds like something stupid that you can safely ignore. If they change this aspect, I'll worry about it then.
posted by trackofalljades at 12:34 PM on September 30, 2015


How will they even verify the number belongs to anyone?

Not to mention how easy it would be to simply scrape phone numbers and set up thousands of phony accounts. For that matter, would it even have to be a valid number? I can see hundreds of profiles for 867-5309 already.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:35 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Great. Two more names for the "bucket list."

I should explain I have two bucket lists. One is the traditional, things I want to do before I kick the bucket. The other is people I need to haul off and smack with a bucket before I die.

That one is getting so long that I'm really worried about having time to get anywhere at all with the first one.
posted by Naberius at 12:35 PM on September 30, 2015 [48 favorites]


30 AD: Judge ye not.

2015 AD: JUDGE ALL THE THINGS
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:35 PM on September 30, 2015 [55 favorites]


"Pop-Pop, tell me about life in the old days. before Peeple."

"Well, sport, it was a different time. If you wanted to call someone a fuckboy, you had to Tweet it, or put it in a status update on Facebook, and hope the right people saw it."
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:36 PM on September 30, 2015 [47 favorites]


This brought back memories of my mother warning me when I was a kid that everything I did would go on my "permanent record". I was so pissed when I found out she was lying to me, but it did have the effect of making me super paranoid about how news of my actions propagate out to people.

And now it's basically come true! Time to go live in a cabin in the woods.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:36 PM on September 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


I don't want to be given a number score by anyone

I AM NOT A NUMBER! I AM A FREE MAN!!
posted by octobersurprise at 12:36 PM on September 30, 2015 [20 favorites]


How will they even verify the number belongs to anyone?

According to the developers' comments on their Facebook page, they...won't.
how can Peeple validate that the number provided is correct; what if a troll or bully uses a burnr number to create a fake profile. How can you be assured that every phone number creating a profile belongs to people willing to take part ? Im not sure that is ever possible to do unless you have opt-in from users before the number can be added.

[Peeple] we cannot but entering in a false number would violate the terms and conditions and we would be able to trace it back to the user who entered it. If they did create your profile with a fake number they could only leave positive comments anyway; that being said I'm not sure why they would bother. When you go into the app and enter in your actual number you can simply report the other profile that isn't yours. We will consider your opt in feature but right now we don't have that option. We appreciate your question and value add suggestion.
I am not reassured.
posted by cjelli at 12:36 PM on September 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


I'm genuinely curious how they start showing up in the media.

Buglr, it's like friendster for friendsters.
posted by nom de poop at 12:37 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's good to see that unanimity is still possible.

Seriously, though, in addition to all the above concerns, what if things change? Like, five years ago, I would have left my now-ex girlfriend a good review. Four year and nine months ago, I would have left a very different review.

Prediction: this will be huge. Alas.
posted by kevinbelt at 12:37 PM on September 30, 2015


The lawsuits will start on day one of this idiotic product launch.

Sadly, as long as the information is coming from users, they may very well be insulated by Section 230.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:37 PM on September 30, 2015


This is extra-terrifying to me as someone with some mental health issues because, like, all my reviews would be stuff like "She lies on the couch a lot and doesn't get up because she is sad, it is boring, never be friends with her" or "she just cries sometimes for no reason, who even DOES that? F minus minus minus minus minus".

It seems like one pretty big unintended feature of this is further stigmatizing people with mental health issues and making them feel badly about themselves.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:37 PM on September 30, 2015 [47 favorites]


Have there always been ideas this terrible? I'm now solidly in cranky old person territory with regards to much innovation on the internet, as there seems to be an endless wave of cheerily promoted dystopian horrors pouring out of the San Francisco hellmouth.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:38 PM on September 30, 2015 [48 favorites]


Facebook would be well within its rights to deny these guys access to their API.
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:38 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh golly goshkins! Terms and conditions violations!
posted by Artw at 12:38 PM on September 30, 2015 [18 favorites]


Man.

You people with all your questions and negativity. I'm sure these people have our best interest at heart and this service will do nothing but spread love and sunshine throughout the land, eventually increasing the amount of overall happiness and mind blowing oral sex that occurs here on Spaceship Earth.
posted by bondcliff at 12:39 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I've often wondered "what would you have to do in this day and age to get burned at the stake?"
'Create this app' is a definite shoe-in.
posted by sexyrobot at 12:39 PM on September 30, 2015 [18 favorites]


So they have some magical word-reading-and-intent-deducing technology that can tell when someone is saying something with positive intent instead of negative intent?

if so, that's the golden egg, seeing that they've, solved one of the "hard problems" of security and law enforcement.
posted by Annika Cicada at 12:39 PM on September 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


So, who is going to set up the chapter 11 bingo for this bad idea? Launch November, bubble by January, dead page by April?
posted by clvrmnky at 12:39 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm not a big expert on stalking and harassment but this seems like a disaster waiting to happen
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:40 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


BTW, I'm not saying @bondcliff gives bad head, but that's what I've read heard on peeple.com.
posted by clvrmnky at 12:41 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


tl;dr--"★★★★★ WOULD LET HIM FUCK MY GOAT AGAIN"
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:41 PM on September 30, 2015 [65 favorites]


It seems like one pretty big unintended feature of this is further stigmatizing people with mental health issues and making them feel badly about themselves.

What makes you think that feature is unintended?
posted by The Bellman at 12:43 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


> A bubbly, no-holds-barred “trendy lady” with a marketing degree and two recruiting companies, Cordray sees no reason you wouldn’t want to “showcase your character” online.

It's amazing that this woman made it to where she is in life without ever using the internet.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:44 PM on September 30, 2015 [19 favorites]


There's a brief little FAQ on their Facebook page, which has some additional information that's interesting. Particularly this:
In terms of being accountable to what you say about someone we have a dispute resolution feature that has any review with 2 stars or less go into the inbox of the person being reviewed and not live on the app for 48 hours. Assuming you can't turn a negative into a positive the comment goes live and the person can now publicly defend themselves.
It seems like, from that, 'negative' is derived from the numeric score, not any written content. Which is worrisome, because then you can just circumvent it by giving someone a '3' and writing some fairly critical comments. While I'm sure they'll revise the system over time, it seems surprisingly unsophisticated and easily game-able. If they stick with that, say, it just compresses the review range from 1-5 to 3-5, the same way video game scores have been compressed into 70-100, and anything under 80 is 'bad'.
posted by cjelli at 12:44 PM on September 30, 2015 [6 favorites]



"If you haven’t registered for the site, and thus can’t contest those negative ratings, your profile only shows positive reviews."

Okay, so basically the whole idea sounds like something stupid that you can safely ignore. If they change this aspect, I'll worry about it then.


I just registered as you. You're welcome.

(Rhetorical illustration only. I did not register as you.)
posted by Sys Rq at 12:46 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm not saying @bondcliff gives bad head, but that's what I've read heard on peeple.com.

That's because I've been using Mechanical Turk to outsource it.

Honestly the only good thing I have to say about this site is that the two "trendy ladies" who started it will probably have some very, very shitty reviews.
posted by bondcliff at 12:47 PM on September 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Per this Calgary Metro News article, their monetization plan is to charge for searches, which does read like 'we're going to sell this information to HR departments and dating sites.'
Cordray said the plan is to monetize the app by eventually charging for searches. She said it will always be free to sign up, but users will eventually be limited to one free search per day.

“I want character to be our new form of currency,” she said.
posted by cjelli at 12:48 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


The lawsuits will start on day one of this idiotic product launch.

I see no reason to wait. File now and beat the rush.
posted by Naberius at 12:48 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


On a more serious note, how long before some #notallmangoat group uses their own site to attack the creators?

This will not end well.
posted by clvrmnky at 12:50 PM on September 30, 2015


We appreciate your question and value add suggestion.

I love the casual abuse of the English language as a parting shot - how sure are we this is not a very high end troll?
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:51 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Cordray said the plan is to monetize the app by eventually charging for searches. She said it will always be free to sign up, but users will eventually be limited to one free search per day.

“I want character to be our new form of currency,” she said.


"Except for all of our VC money, that I want to be the real kind of currency, the only kind that will protect me from being drawn and quartered by a unanimous gathering of humanity."
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 12:52 PM on September 30, 2015 [17 favorites]


Yeesh. I've had the same cell phone number for 17 years... what could possibly go wrong?

Beyond that, I'm heartbroken to observe that the cold, calculated shrewdness of today's bubbly young marketing graduates is being utilized to build monetizing empires instead of... I dunno, suicide booths? This isn't the dystopian future I signed up for at all!
posted by divined by radio at 12:52 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


> There isn’t a better way to spend a day than with a fun-spirited businesswoman.

First of all, "fun-spirited" is not a thing people say. Second of all, the rest of that sentence.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:53 PM on September 30, 2015 [30 favorites]


Assuming you can't turn a negative into a positive that frown upside down the comment goes live and the person can now publicly defend themselves ...
... IN THUNDERDOME!!
posted by octobersurprise at 12:53 PM on September 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


this is bad and these people are bad and the future is generally terrible and i am against it

and frankly I am fucking pissed that women are behind this bullshit because they surely know better than to expect that this won't be immediately and virulently abusive. ugh.


Q: Can I take myself off of Peeple?
No. Not at this time. We may consider this feature in the future.


construction of the wicker man begins immediately.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:53 PM on September 30, 2015 [70 favorites]


Getting people to pay to have negative comments removed?

Same business model as yelp then. For accurate yelp reviews always be sure to expand the unhelpful items. Yelp is a fucking joke and will tell you when you do this that they strive to filter out shit reviews. Nope. Those are the reviews they were paid to suppress. I like yelp and they like my reviews, but the big negative ones I post are moved to unhelpful quickly. That is the proprietor paying yelp to reprioritize.
posted by aydeejones at 12:53 PM on September 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I look forward to fucking around with this the same way that some long-distance colleagues fuck around with Rate My Professor. Maybe I should invite everyone I know on the facebooks to tell outlandish and scurrilous lies about me, on the "turned me into a newt" level.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:54 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


For example Bubba Gump shrimp is a terrible chain restaurant. We know this. But did you know they can't prepare a clean shrimp cocktail? That sort of information is considered unhelpful because yelp is a business supported by deceit. But it's still a useable tool
posted by aydeejones at 12:55 PM on September 30, 2015


The lawsuits will start on day one of this idiotic product launch.

So sometime in 2032 then.
posted by PMdixon at 12:56 PM on September 30, 2015


Two non-technical founders pushing an idea that's bound to get immediate bad press and has demonstrably and repeatedly failed in the past? I think the fact that they've been funded at all is less an instance of irrational exuberance than just VCs trying to have some fun with their bails of money.
posted by invitapriore at 12:56 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


y2karl: "I am changing my name to eyeball kid."

Admins: Change my name to y2karl.
posted by Samizdata at 12:57 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


This app is almost certainly going to fail. Thankfully the founders seem to be complete morons. However, I'm thinking something like this will take off one day. Twitter or Linkedin, in a desperate move to return to their previous levels of insane growth, will allow you to give an anonymous thumbs up / thumbs down vote to an individual. Or an app which lets you anonymously give a 1 to 5 star rating to people on your friends list. Eventually the app could grow to allow ratings given to certain categories, like 'trustworthiness', 'attractiveness', 'intelligence', or whatever.

Anonymity and lack of commentary seems like it would be enough to keep out of libel and litigation. And then the system will get entrenched to the point where it becomes akin to a credit score and follows people forever. Quite a nightmare.
posted by honestcoyote at 12:57 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


“People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions,” said Julia Cordray, one of the app’s founders. “Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?”

What I read this I thought about the comic trope of the last few years, about how you can't book a hotel anymore because every hotel has something WRONG according to Trip Adviser Reviews. Mold in the bathroom. Surly Staff. Pillows too soft. Pillows too hard. Not enough light. Too much light. Etc. There is always a disgruntled customer ready to put you off.

I can easily imagine this happening with people. Somebody won't like my laugh. Somebody will think I'm too friendly. Somebody will remember that time I forgot their birthday or didn't return their call. Somebody will think I talk too much or not enough or too fast or too slow or about stuff that is too esoteric or too general. I'm not going going to be checking my reviews.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:58 PM on September 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


From the Calgary Metro News article:

Co-founder and CEO Julia Cordray said she and co-founder Nicole McCullough came up with the idea after McCullough was having trouble finding if a babysitter was reliable.

So the logic seems to be:
  1. I want a build a tool to find a reliable babysitter.
  2. Exposing everyone to public scrutiny with or without their consent can help find a reliable babysitter.
  3. Ergo, I want to build a tool exposing everyone to public scrutiny with or without their consent.
Think how much trouble could have been avoided if someone had directed McCullough to this site.
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:58 PM on September 30, 2015 [34 favorites]


For example Bubba Gump shrimp is a terrible chain restaurant. We know this. But did you know they can't prepare a clean shrimp cocktail? That sort of information is considered unhelpful because yelp is a business supported by deceit. But it's still a useable tool

Just like everyone who uses it.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:59 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Looks like some Tim & Eric b-roll footage here on their website.

And the text right below is most definitely parody: "Innovators are often put down because people are scared and they don’t understand." Right??
posted by witchen at 1:03 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Annika Cicada: "The best part will be when a script kiddie scripts a bazillion possible phone number combinations into this thing, DOS'ing their 10-cents-per-message SMS gateway and bankrupting them on day 3 post-launch."

Agreed.

But you are all totally missing the brilliance of this idea. Pretty much everyone on there will be visiting every 48 hours to see if they have an unpublished negative review (sort of like me checking for MeFavorites). Think of the ad impressions!
posted by Samizdata at 1:03 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


If I ever end up on this fucking thing I invite everybody on MetaFilter to review me as being moldy, surly, poorly lit, and full of shrimp poop.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:05 PM on September 30, 2015 [28 favorites]


prize bull octorok: ""Pop-Pop, tell me about life in the old days. before Peeple."

"Well, sport, it was a different time. If you wanted to call someone a fuckboy, you had to Tweet it, or put it in a status update on Facebook, and hope the right people saw it."
"

Shut up, fuckboy!

I keed, I keed. Meant with all due love and respect. Now, don't give me a bad review, okay?
posted by Samizdata at 1:05 PM on September 30, 2015


Secret Life of Gravy: : There is always a disgruntled customer ready to put you off. I can easily imagine this happening with people.

Secret Life of Gravy, you know, this is hard to put in delicate terms but I met this guy. There's this guy who doesn't like you.
posted by AndrewInDC at 1:06 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I thought Peeple was a "caller ID for your front door". Also, this is a terrible idea, and if a profile is started for me, I will sue the pants off these people.
posted by all about eevee at 1:06 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


cjelli: "How will they even verify the number belongs to anyone?

According to the developers' comments on their Facebook page, they...won't.
how can Peeple validate that the number provided is correct; what if a troll or bully uses a burnr number to create a fake profile. How can you be assured that every phone number creating a profile belongs to people willing to take part ? Im not sure that is ever possible to do unless you have opt-in from users before the number can be added.

[Peeple] we cannot but entering in a false number would violate the terms and conditions and we would be able to trace it back to the user who entered it. If they did create your profile with a fake number they could only leave positive comments anyway; that being said I'm not sure why they would bother. When you go into the app and enter in your actual number you can simply report the other profile that isn't yours. We will consider your opt in feature but right now we don't have that option. We appreciate your question and value add suggestion.
I am not reassured.
"

Yeah, and what if I don't have a device that supports your stupid app, huh?
posted by Samizdata at 1:06 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


What is their business model?

Massive and untold VC grift on the backs of as many anonymous and unknowing strangers as they can convince other people in the name of "love and positivity" and "showcasing your character" to use their product to capture.
posted by blucevalo at 1:07 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Funnily enough, when I saw "Cordray" I immediately misread it as "Corday." It's an understandable mistake: one was an assassin and the other is a character assassin.

"★ — Wud not rekomen. Nifed me in mah tub"
posted by octobersurprise at 1:07 PM on September 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Twitter or Linkedin, in a desperate move to return to their previous levels of insane growth, will allow you to give an anonymous thumbs up / thumbs down vote to an individual. Or an app which lets you anonymously give a 1 to 5 star rating to people on your friends list. Eventually the app could grow to allow ratings given to certain categories, like 'trustworthiness', 'attractiveness', 'intelligence', or whatever.

Wasn't it Friendster that did this? Had little icons you could click to rate how smart, sexy or whatever your friends were? One of those services I had back in Ye Olden Social Networking days had that and thus I never used the service after signing up.

I love my friends as people. I think some of them are blazing hot and many of them are incredibly smart. They make me feel a bunch of good things and I enjoy their company. I hope they know the many fine things I believe about them and the many fine things that I believe they are. I am even willing to discuss their bad habits should they ask. I want no app for that. Relatedly, I do not under any circumstances ever want to know how smart, pretty or whathaveyou my friends might think I am (or not). but that's a personal preference. I'm happy with being sure they enjoy my company and trust having me around.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:07 PM on September 30, 2015


guys! guys! every time you say their name pee comes out of your mouth!
posted by Annika Cicada at 1:09 PM on September 30, 2015 [16 favorites]


bondcliff: "Man.

You people with all your questions and negativity. I'm sure these people have our best interest at heart and this service will do nothing but spread love and sunshine throughout the land, eventually increasing the amount of overall happiness and mind blowing oral sex that occurs here on Spaceship Earth.
"

'Scuse me? Did I end up on the wrong planet again?
posted by Samizdata at 1:09 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I mean, this is clearly totally terrible, but it's also just...weird, right? Like, really weird. I mean, how do you review someone as a PERSON? Restaurants, for example, are designed to provide a service and I can see how that would be broken down (wait time, servers, food quality, price, &c) -- there are real metrics. Same with people providing services. You can at least try to break down stuff like how good at, say, babysitting or even, I don't know, therapy someone is, because these are things with quantifiable goals and outcomes. What are the metrics for judging a person? What is the outcome or experience you're trying to measure? Is it like D&D stats? Do you rate them on empathy and outgoingness? Different people value different stuff, too -- some people, for example, will think I have a fantastic sense of humor and others will think it's weird and uncomfortable (this is an area where everyone can be correct). I have pretty clear thoughts on what makes someone a "bad" person (the list is extensive) but do we really have any serious agreement on that? Like, can I rate someone two stars for integrity because they borrow my shit and never give it back? It gets into these weird existential questions about what the goal of being a person is, if such a thing even exists.

Seriously, once I get beyond the initial "boy this is super, SUPER horrible", it just seems more and more peculiar. What does it even MEAN? It is really, really odd and I don't understand it.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 1:10 PM on September 30, 2015 [38 favorites]


Peeple should be for reviewing Peeps.

While the traditional Easter chick Peeps can't be beat, the Halloween ghost Peeps are severely under-appreciated. 4/5 stars
posted by Sangermaine at 1:10 PM on September 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


clvrmnky: "On a more serious note, how long before some #notallmangoat group uses their own site to attack the creators?

This will not end well.
"

Goatergate?
posted by Samizdata at 1:10 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


> If they stick with that, say, it just compresses the review range from 1-5 to 3-5

Yeah, within (literally) days of launch the peeps of Peeple will establish 3 stars as the convention for "worst possible person."

There is no way anyone who got money to implement this idea is this naive. Either their only experience with the internet is through the briefest of touches of a smartphone menu, or they know damn well what they're doing and the excuses like "You cannot be rated and rate people you don't know as that would violate our Terms and Conditions of the app" and chirpy "CEO updates" like
You deserve to make better decisions with more information to protect your children and your biggest assets. You have worked so hard to get the reputation you have among the people that know you. As innovators we want to make your life better and have the opportunity to prove how great it feels to be loved by so many in a public space.
is basic messaging. Heck, you get peek at future opportunities for monitization even in their PR:
The media does a good job of ruining lives and publicly shaming someone by not allowing a full picture of who the person was before they did something we didn’t approve of and how they showed up in the world after. We all deserve a second chance to do better next time. Our app will allow users to be their best selves and get some love and feedback to grow in the process.
I mean, linkedin has their premium service. It only make sense for Peeple to offer customized assistance those members who are struggling to act on that love and feedback and need some friendly coaching to optimize their Peeple scores. Call it a Peeple ImProvement Plan! Positivity!
posted by postcommunism at 1:10 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


“As two empathetic, female entrepreneurs in the tech space, we want to spread love and positivity,” Cordray stressed

Bullshit.
posted by smidgen at 1:11 PM on September 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Also, this seems likely to affect people in inverse proportion to how "good" they actually are, right? Like, sociopaths don't give a fuck what people think of them, whereas kind and sensitive people will get really upset if they have a negative review. I know this isn't directly true but in broad strokes it seems like it's designed to hurt the weakest people the most, much like middle-school bullying.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 1:12 PM on September 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


Q: Can I start someone else's profile?
Yes. You will need their cell phone number to start their profile and they will receive a text that you were the person to start their profile and that they should check out what you said about them on our app.

Q: Can I take myself off of Peeple?
No. Not at this time. We may consider this feature in the future.

So basically, your ex could start a profile for you if they have your cell phone number AND YOU CANNOT DELETE IT. That is just such a fucking unbelievably bad idea that I cannot.


Ok, I’m more familiar with privacy laws in Europe and only passingly familiar with those in the US, so there may be a huge gap there I’m unaware of, but HOW can this even be legal?

Isn’t all this - your name, location, your phone number - personal data whose use you need to consent to personally?

What’s the legal loophole allowing these vile vile people to even contemplate a website like this?
posted by bitteschoen at 1:13 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


construction of the wicker man begins immediately

Wickr Peepl: a site where you if you receive enough negative downvotes from enough users, they will set up a crowdsourced group of volunteers to construct an artisanal burning homunculus, drone-drop it at your location and ritually sacrifice you.

It doesn't even really sound worse than this one.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 1:14 PM on September 30, 2015 [36 favorites]


An up and coming entrepreneur has outlined his idea for a related app, via The Twitter.
posted by Wordshore at 1:14 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


If you want to see what happens when despicable people create bad technology, this is it.
posted by prepmonkey at 1:14 PM on September 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


The EU has stricter privacy laws than the US, so I don't know about there, but I'm pretty sure still legal to publish a phone book in the US. Though I'm still glad they stopped dropping a pile of them on my porch of my building every so often.
posted by aubilenon at 1:15 PM on September 30, 2015


1. I want a build a tool to find a reliable babysitter.
2. Exposing everyone to public scrutiny with or without their consent can help find a reliable babysitter.
3. Ergo, I want to build a tool exposing everyone to public scrutiny with or without their consent.


Surely there's an even more efficient way to go about this:

1. Invent the mental engineering technology from Dollhouse.
2. Program "Kayla," a reliable babysitter personality.
3. Forcibly overwrite the minds of poor people with the "Kayla" engram.
posted by Iridic at 1:15 PM on September 30, 2015 [16 favorites]


This will not end well. Really.
posted by jonmc at 1:15 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I gotta go to the gym now and the whole time I'm working out I'm going to be looking around judging the people who are judging me, just waiting for their negative reviews.
1 Star: She comes in here to my nice clean gym with her huge butt and makes me watch her huge butt on the elliptical. What a selfish cow!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:16 PM on September 30, 2015


I know this isn't directly true but in broad strokes it seems like it's designed to hurt the weakest people the most, much like middle-school bullying.

I really, really think that the thing you're saying is directly true. The article and FAQs make it pretty clear that the people behind this thing are deeply awful and that some of the "unintended side effects" that we're all het up about are in fact definitely part of the design.
posted by IAmUnaware at 1:17 PM on September 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Is it like D&D stats?

This is one case where you really don't want to dump CHA.
posted by cjelli at 1:18 PM on September 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


As a mother of two in an era when people don’t always know their neighbors, she wanted something to help her decide whom to trust with her kids.

Just one of the many things I hate about this is the implication that it's OK because she's just trying to protect her children. Sometimes it seems like there's getting to be more harm done in the name of parenthood than there is in the name of religion.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 1:20 PM on September 30, 2015 [60 favorites]


This is one case where you really don't want to dump CHA.

My characters always have bonkers high charisma because I just want to role-play as Carmen Sandiego (my character's name is Santiaga de Compostela). I basically play D&D as straight-up wish fulfillment.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 1:23 PM on September 30, 2015 [16 favorites]


FWIW someone is suing LinkedIn for selling their users' data to recruiters and employers, claiming violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:23 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


> A bubbly, no-holds-barred “trendy lady” with a marketing degree and two recruiting companies, Cordray sees no reason you wouldn’t want to “showcase your character” online.

It's amazing that this woman made it to where she is in life without ever using the internet.


Or having heard of ambiguity, irony or sarcasm. If indeed it only quantifies a review as positive or negative by the numerical rating, any Gen-X type can crash it: we are all so steeped in irony that "damning with faint praise" is Standard Operating Procedure.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:24 PM on September 30, 2015


Part of what's repulsive about this is that the "character" that they intend to be used as "currency" simply means being as generic, conformist, market-friendly and trend-following as possible. They don't mean being honest or thoughtful or scholarly or having actual integrity or standing up for others or speaking truth to power or sacrificing something in the interests of a greater good - because being any of those things means that some people will dislike you for terrible reasons. They just mean "you should never do anything that will make you unpopular with anyone who has a following, and you should never, ever be weird".
posted by Frowner at 1:24 PM on September 30, 2015 [81 favorites]


As a mother of two in an era when people don’t always know their neighbors, she wanted something to help her decide whom to trust with her kids.

Just one of the many things I hate about this is the implication that it's OK because she's just trying to protect her children.


Guhh seriously. We assume these risks all day, every day. It's foolish to try and gather data in defense of each interaction we have with other humans. I mean, before I went on an OKCupid date I would Google the person thoroughly, and before I sign a lease I look up the criminal history of the property owner, but it's unnecessary and irrelevant to try and figure out whether they'll be thoughtful and send me a Christmas card or if their halitosis is off-putting. Like Pema Chodron wrote, quoting someone else: "There is no cure for hot and cold." Just deal with it.
posted by witchen at 1:24 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just one of the many things I hate about this is the implication that it's OK because she's just trying to protect her children.

I ran over a guy once while I was handing my kid a juice box in the back seat. Totally justified.
posted by bondcliff at 1:24 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Over the summer I wrote a gamification infokit for an educational technology charity. One part of that was on issues, problems and weaknesses. If they let me update it, then this is going in there.

And also from that page is the ROIKOI App, where you can rate your work colleagues...

"...giving them a score of hire, skip, or fire... That all gets turned into a numerical score, with the best scores hitting the top of regional, company-wide, or sector-based leaderboards."

Ah, modern life.
posted by Wordshore at 1:25 PM on September 30, 2015


It's amazing that this woman made it to where she is in life without ever using the internet.

Well, I've met a few people who work in recruiting...
posted by Artw at 1:25 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


threeing all y'all rn
posted by nom de poop at 1:26 PM on September 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


Germany had a social network similar to this a while back. I think it was called Stasi or something like that.
posted by mr.ersatz at 1:27 PM on September 30, 2015 [58 favorites]


But a phone book is a whole different thing - and you can take yourself off the damn phone book, to avoid marketing calls. And there is no phone book for cell phones anyway. It’s not public information.

All the online "reputation/influence" tools existing today are voluntary - kred, etc. You sign up for them in person if you like, no one else can do it for you.
Someone else practically signing you up to an online service, without your consent, using your own cell number...?

I seem to remember the laws in the US for marketing are based more on the opt-out approach rather than opt-in as in the EU, but even then, there’s no opt-out here.
They’d already be illegal in the EU anyway so what, are they planning to launch the app for US users only?

And, if you are not on Facebook they cannot do this to you anyway, right?
posted by bitteschoen at 1:28 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Being illegal has never stopped a web service before. It's called "disrupting the market".
posted by backseatpilot at 1:29 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Huh, the messaging on Cordray's personal website is a bit different than on Peeple's website and in that facebook post:
Now we’ve innovated again and made Peeple, which is the next generation of recruitment in an app where you can find talent geographically through key word searches and see how talented they really are professionally as commented on and rated by their peers.
posted by postcommunism at 1:30 PM on September 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


So the logic seems to be:

1. I want a build a tool to find a reliable babysitter.
2. Exposing everyone to public scrutiny with or without their consent can help find a reliable babysitter.


Because what every preteen wants and needs is ratings and criticism from 30-something fun-spirited businesswomen.
posted by bonehead at 1:30 PM on September 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


That sounds like an entirely different app.
posted by all about eevee at 1:31 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now we’ve innovated again and made Peeple, which is the next generation of recruitment in an app where you can find talent geographically through key word searches and see how talented they really are professionally as commented on and rated by their peers.

So basically, this really is a tool for HR, is what we're saying, and that means that Joe Stalker writes something horrible or starts a campaign of the horribles and his victim is suddenly unemployable. What a world!
posted by Frowner at 1:32 PM on September 30, 2015


Hey, Republicans, this is yet another reason tort reform is a bad idea.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:32 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


What about people who are trans? Or who have stalkers, abusers, or estranged family members? What is our recourse against this, because people could say things about others on this app that might endanger people's lives?
posted by all about eevee at 1:37 PM on September 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


"... giving them a score of hire, skip, or fire ..."

That's "fuck, marry, kill." Christ, I hate it when people disrupt the classics.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:39 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


If this catches on significantly there will definitely be a class-action lawsuit. That's the thing about bulldog plaintiff's attorneys, they're awful until you point them at the bad guys.
posted by vogon_poet at 1:40 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


What about people who are trans? Or who have stalkers, abusers, or estranged family members?

I know! Wouldn't you rather see all that baggage before you make a hiring decision?

You say you would? Well, have I got the recruitment database for you!
posted by postcommunism at 1:41 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


That their marketing slogan isn't IT'S MADE OF PEEPLE just shows these folks don't have a firm grasp on anything
posted by item at 1:41 PM on September 30, 2015 [43 favorites]


What is our recourse against this, because people could say things about others on this app that might endanger people's lives?

Ah, the common dilemma between a what's a feature and a what's bug, with the added twist that we are now the bugs to be "fixed".
posted by Annika Cicada at 1:42 PM on September 30, 2015


The subliteracy of what they've produced so far is just underwhelming.
posted by Dashy at 1:43 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


What about people who are trans? Or who have stalkers, abusers, or estranged family members?

Yes but on the other hand what about the huge corporations that will pay good money for information about all those people? won't someone worry about the profits of huge corporations?
posted by poffin boffin at 1:44 PM on September 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Yes but on the other hand what about the huge corporations that will pay good money for information about all those people? won't someone worry about the profits of huge corporations

"Corporations are peeple too, my poffin boffin" - Mitt Romney, 2012
posted by Wordshore at 1:46 PM on September 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


What about the "personal" and "romantic" ratings? How is that helpful for anyone, ever? All this app is going to do is drop drama bombs all over North America.
posted by all about eevee at 1:47 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


all about eevee: "What about the "personal" and "romantic" ratings? How is that helpful for anyone, ever? All this app is going to do is drop drama bombs all over North America."

Because, if I am in HR, how do I know who is worth blackmailing into a forced relationship via the workplace?
posted by Samizdata at 1:49 PM on September 30, 2015


Fourteen seconds after launch: 8chan signs up en masse.

Seventy-four seconds after launch: Peeple files for Chapter 11.
posted by delfin at 1:50 PM on September 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


Googling around and reading some articles talking about this, in this one the comments are Facebook comments and "bubbly" CEO Julia Corday is responding to every objection and oh my god, the little gems in there, like this - she reponds to a commenter whose Facebook byline says Apple but "previous: US Federal Government" with this:
Ray, you work at the government that has the ability to garnish people's bank accounts and look into whoever they would want to. Why can't the public have the right to find out how someone shows up in the world? To protect themselves and make better decisions? Why do we not need this?
...
posted by bitteschoen at 1:52 PM on September 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


Why can't the public have the right to find out how someone shows up in the world? To protect themselves and make better decisions? Why do we not need this?

this woman is a menace and we must drive her into the sea.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:55 PM on September 30, 2015 [49 favorites]


and "bubbly" CEO Julia Corday is responding to every objection and oh my god,

Come to metafilter Ms. Cordray and spread your gospel of love and harmony.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:56 PM on September 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


I don't really think this stands a chance. The article mentions Lulu and I think Lulu is a reasonable comparison. I'm going off distant memory of what I saw on it, but I'm pretty sure that Lulu doesn't allow free form comments on people, users can only select from dumb pre-determined hashtags. I also seem to think that it may not have always been like that and they had to switch it to that due to some controversy but I could be mistaken there.

Also, men have to opt-in to be reviewed on Lulu and that also was not always the case. It kind of sounds (though I am confused) that this service is effectively opt-in as you have to register for negative reviews to show? So they'll probably send you a super enticing email telling you that someone has said something bad about you online but if you dispute it within x time it won't go up (but then you have to register to dispute). So kind of using a little trickery to get people to register. It reminds me of vaguely-remembered spam emails that I used to get that were like - someone likes you! Click here and tell us who you like and we'll tell you if its a match! And then you had to jump through a million hoops and give up all your information to a website to get to...what, I don't even know.

Additionally, I seem to remember libel laws in the UK (and maybe other countries) being much stricter than they are here, which I think may make something like this difficult if it were available there.

Finally, I remember in the last year or two there was a big ruling of some sort about people's right to a fresh start wrt their online reputation. I think it ruled in favor of people being able to have this. I wonder if that would come into play in any way with this app.

Anyway, I don't see this app succeeding in any way without using a heavy amount of deception and trickery to get people to sign up. And someone with a patience for small print and a few hours to spare could read the T&C to figure it all out and put together a plain English explainer on what they're doing and how to avoid being tricked. This is exactly what someone will do, provided it even gets off the ground to begin with. Which I don't think it will.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:56 PM on September 30, 2015


More like peehole, am I right?

(Please rate me highly when this stupid fucking thing becomes the next thing you can't not do.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:57 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Okay, I freely admit that with a lot of this internet stuff, I find myself wondering just how people who seem to have so few critical thinking skills have accrued so much power. I generally tend to assume that the various makers-of-terrible-internet things are smart and amoral, but an awful lot of them just seem to be stupid and immoral, and that seems much worse, somehow.
posted by Frowner at 1:57 PM on September 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


is this even for real? Surely it is an elaborate hoax.
posted by 15L06 at 1:57 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


this woman is a menace and we must drive her into the sea.

The sea is polluted enough as it is.
posted by delfin at 1:58 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


The sea isn't far enough. Know those posters for The Martian that say BRING HIM HOME? I'm thinking one with a different slogan.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:00 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't have a cell phone, so I'm safe.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 2:02 PM on September 30, 2015


The potential for trolling is bottomless. Literally.
posted by LMGM at 2:02 PM on September 30, 2015


This service has a kind of meta-level function where if you've ever used it, I don't want to deal with you, ever. The system works!
posted by GilloD at 2:02 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can imagine my junior high self signing up for this out of fear. Sounds like a party whose invite I think I'll decline. Honestly, I can't see this really going anywhere. Either that or it'll implode due to libel suits.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 2:04 PM on September 30, 2015


Did you ever watch Mean Girls and think to yourself, "Self, you know what I wish? I wish high-school-style social pecking orders carried past high school and into the rest of everyone's lives, using the Power Of The Internet!"

No? You never wished that? Me neither! But Julia Cordray and Nicole McCullough did, apparently.
posted by mstokes650 at 2:05 PM on September 30, 2015 [20 favorites]


At last we will know for certain if we should really vote #1 the quidnunc kid.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 2:05 PM on September 30, 2015 [24 favorites]


bitteschoen: Isn’t all this - your name, location, your phone number - personal data whose use you need to consent to personally?

Not at all in the United States. In the days when a land line was more or less a necessity for modern life, one would have to pay money not to have such information publicly listed. In many other cases, personal information is required to be on public documents, so most people that buy a house in their own name's address can be found as a matter of public record. We have a very different culture when it comes to data privacy here. It's only recently and only in some states that companies started being required to notify individuals if they accidentally leaked sensitive information about them.
posted by Candleman at 2:09 PM on September 30, 2015


There are a million web sites where you can search personal data like name, location, phone number, etc. As Candleman says, most of this is available through various public records (marriage records are default public, buying a house is a public activity, political contributions over $200, and many many more things).

Of course, most of this was originally marked public before the Internet, when it meant you would have to go to a courthouse and track down some document. But the laws are basically the same so all of that is easily searchable on a ton of websites.
posted by thefoxgod at 2:13 PM on September 30, 2015


> What about the "personal" and "romantic" ratings? How is that helpful for anyone, ever?

Actually, I think those two areas are exactly what makes Peeple such an exciting and disruptive innovation in the recruiting and human resources space. Existing services can only capture professional and financial information, which fails to present an honest and comprehensive picture of applicants, doing a disservice both to prospective employers and to the applicants themselves!

Peeple will help paint the rest of the portrait. For example, hiring managers could see if an applicant has many personal connections gained via addiction recovery groups vs. reviews which mention church participation or volunteer work. Concerned a female applicant will be able to professionally and responsibly represent herself in the workplace? Total number of romantic reviews can help give insight into her character and comportment that would otherwise be impossible to attain (to say nothing of the thorny question of babies). Of course, that's just to start. I'm sure after their initial success, Peeple will be able to help its enterprise users more directly asses their dataset with the ability to automatically filter or flag potential problem applicants and highlight potential good investments. Possibly even with a convenient numerical score.

Peeple! Character is Destiny.
posted by postcommunism at 2:13 PM on September 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


postcommunism: "There is no way anyone who got money to implement this idea is this naive. Either their only experience with the internet is through the briefest of touches of a smartphone menu, or they know damn well what they're doing"

No one is that naive and internet high profile. Like those coffee shop guys publicly rating everyone they slept with this service can safely be presumed evil.

Mrs. Pterodactyl: " I basically play D&D as straight-up wish fulfillment."

How else can one play it?
posted by Mitheral at 2:20 PM on September 30, 2015


Like Uber for slander.
posted by ardgedee at 2:22 PM on September 30, 2015 [38 favorites]


In many other cases, personal information is required to be on public documents, so most people that buy a house in their own name's address can be found as a matter of public record.

True story: last week my parents, at a house I haven't lived in in over a decade, in a city/state I haven't lived in in over a decade, at a phone number that has never been associated with me as an adult, received a phone call from a recruiter asking for me saying they wanted to talk to me about a job. I happen to be without permanent work right now, so my parents heard this and were like "YES THIS IS IT, THIS IS THE MOMENT" and got all excited and called me to tell me.

I explained how it had to be some sort of scammy service that's just scraping info from somewhere, because of all of the above reasons, but my mom assured me that no, this woman sounded quite legitimate and it was definitely a real job offer and not a scam and blah blah blah. So I listened to this lady's message and sure, she sounded like a real person and all, probably a nice woman who does not literally eat babies and sacrifice goats in her free time, but there was no good reason for her to have my name + my parents' landline phone number. I did some internet sleuthing and figured out her email address, and shot her an email to ask where she got my info.

Turns out they pull phone and personal data from the whitepages. Because even just a quick google search will reveal the property information for my parents' house with names of all known residents present and past, their approximate ages, and associated phone numbers. Lord knows what else you can see if you pay the 99¢ to see the full listing.

Got my parents all wound up and because I was dealing with them I had to wait to watch the season premiere of Survivor later on the dvr. Grumble grumble grumble.

tl;dr It's dead easy to find this kind of info in the US.
posted by phunniemee at 2:23 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm pretty amazed at the short-sightedness of some of the tech company pitches I hear. I recently asked a question of a founder who had already rubbed me the wrong way by effectively turning a talk about their technology into a focus group. The question was about how they were handling copyright issues around algorithmically generated content combined with user-generated content. His response was that they hadn't actually thought about it, but they could always just put something in the terms of service to say that they own everything. At that point I realized they were never going to be success no matter how cool the underlying tech was.

This seems no different, every answer from the founders I've read on here seems equally dismissive of serious, seriuos concerns. My guess is they never launch and we will not shed a tear.
posted by TwoWordReview at 2:26 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thank you for applying for the position of CLOSING CASHIER at Monopoly Megacorp. In order for your employment application to be processed you must agree to allow Oligarchy Inc. to check your "Peeple Person Plus Secure Score™" profile provided by Peeple Reputation Services, Inc. If you do not have a "Peeple Person Plus Secure Score™" account your application for employment will be negatively scored and depending on the information you have freely given on your application may lead up to this application and all future applications with Monopoly Megacorp and all other subsidiary corporations under Oligarchy Inc. to be rejected for a period of up to, but not more than, one year from the date on this application.

If you would like to ensure that your application is processed you can sign up at no cost today and receive 10 complimentary "Peeple Person Plus Positive Secure Points™"* to help ensure your application for employment meets our stringent application review process.


*complimentary points subject to credit check with the three major credit scoring bureaus
posted by Annika Cicada at 2:29 PM on September 30, 2015 [33 favorites]


"In terms of being accountable to what you say about someone we have a dispute resolution feature that has any review with 2 stars or less go into the inbox of the person being reviewed and not live on the app for 48 hours. Assuming you can't turn a negative into a positive the comment goes live and the person can now publicly defend themselves."
Jim Smith — jim@fedoras.com (87% average rating) rates her 5/5
It's easy to give her all five stars! I could always tell throughout our torrid relationship that she was overcoming a deeply abusive past. The thing with the warts alone, inflicted on her by one of several anonymous partners, would have undone anyone. Not her! She's a strong woman I can't help but admire. Proud to have been one of the many lucky people who got to be with her.

mysql> SELECT text, title, rating FROM ratings WHERE rating <= 2 AND user_id = 1234;
Empty set (0.00 sec)


Welp.
posted by mph at 2:32 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


YOU LOVE ME. YOU REALLY LOVE ME. well some of you do, a few of you. That guy.

I am so happy to be able to quantity things.
posted by 4ster at 2:32 PM on September 30, 2015


First line: You can already rate restaurants, hotels, movies, college classes, government agencies and bowel movements online.

There's somewhere where people are rating bowel movements? I'm hanging out on the wrong websites!
posted by aka burlap at 2:33 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


In bitteschoen link to the Calgary herald, bubbly entrepreneurs doxxed two people already by looking up and mentioning their business names in a rather "be a shame if something were to happen" kinda way.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 2:38 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Seed round on a $7.6 million valuation (I'm assuming seed) probably means they sold 10% of the company for 760k, which is chump change by VC standards... enough to hire the 4 or 5 people you need to make this sort of thing for 9-18 months' runway. I know on the order of scores of people (many of them right out of college) who could get that amount of money pretty easily, and the bar for convincing is not incredibly high.

So they got a lot of press, but two nontechnical founders means they will fuck up in small and big things in the implementation, possibly get bamboozled by outsourced app devs, possibly get bamboozled by insourced app devs. Certainly, they cannot lead technically a team, and I bet they don't know shit about evaluating devs.

I would put about half-half chance that they'll be able to shit a v1.0 at all, which is a tad optimistic. Less than 3% chance of making it to another round conditioned on the knowledge about the founders and the press (there is a nonlinearity to the times when press is good or bad for early startups), but the prior on that is like 10%, I think?

In order to have good ideas, you must have a lot of ideas from every possible angle. I don't know what good idea this will be exapted to, but I bet that there's a possibility of some startup with an actually good idea exapting some aspects of this.
posted by curuinor at 2:39 PM on September 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


There's somewhere where people are rating bowel movements? I'm hanging out on the wrong websites!

Guessing that's ratemypoo.com which has been around a long time (checks whois) heck since 2001. Almost as old as MetaFilter*.

(Not linking to it as it was exactly as named. People upload pictures of their bowel movements, others rate them, league tables et al. Fecal Gamification, I guess)

*I have no idea how these people got their poo wedged into their scanner, or why.
posted by Wordshore at 2:40 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


peeple
peeple who rate peeple
are the suckiest peeple
in the world ...
posted by pyramid termite at 2:49 PM on September 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Ah, thanks Wordshore. Also thank you for not linking! Really the kind of thing that's better to know about in the abstract than through direct experience.

More on topic, this is such an awful, dystopian, TERRIBLE IN EVERY WAY idea that I am sure it will never actually make it to fruition. Or at least that's how I'm reassuring myself because otherwise this would be way too unsettling and horrifying.
posted by aka burlap at 2:49 PM on September 30, 2015


Their seed capital was $270k, according to the Herald. $270k isn't VC capital. That's a second mortgage. I've worked with a lot of VC and angel investors, and I will put dimes to donuts that these loonies don't have any real backers except family. That market cap number is absurd and seemingly pulled from nowhere.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 2:52 PM on September 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


How else can one play it?

Do I have to bring out the gamist-simulationist-dramatist trigraphs again?
posted by bonehead at 2:54 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


they will receive a text
Sending unsolicited texts should get them labeled as spammers pretty quickly, especially when they resend messages to people who don't join.
posted by soelo at 2:56 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


In bitteschoen link to the Calgary herald, bubbly entrepreneurs doxxed two people already by looking up and mentioning their business names in a rather "be a shame if something were to happen" kinda way.

OH MY GOD if you haven't read the comments on that article and seen Julia Cordray's approach to criticism, you should. It is exactly as Mean Girls as you fear - since comments are via Facebook, she has obviously gone through the profile of each critical commenter and extracted aspects of their personal lives about which she can make a snarky and not quite literally threatening comment in her response to them. If not doxxing exactly, at least doxxing-lite, and it certainly demonstrates that she is interested in precisely the ability to use access to people's personal information to lord power over them and get her way.

God help us if this goes beyond an A round before going down in a hail of lawsuits and bad press.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 2:56 PM on September 30, 2015 [33 favorites]


Makes me think of the not-so-distant-future story "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" by Cory Doctorow. The only currency in the economy was "yuffie" which was basically points that other people would give you based on your interactions with them, which would also be displayed on a little floating scoreboard over your head at all times. The idea was that assholes would be poor, and nice people (or good fakers) would be rich.

There was more too it, and also cloning that granted effective immortality (as long as you remember to back up your memories!) I read it a decade or more ago, but it always interested me.
posted by history_denier at 2:58 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh! I didn't hear about $270k without a real round. That would be almost enough if both founders were technical. As it goes, they probably won't ship anything.
posted by curuinor at 3:03 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


if you haven't read the comments on that article and seen Julia Cordray's approach to criticism, you should.
I did and it is so unreal it made me think it could be all fake. it reads like dystopian fiction.
posted by 15L06 at 3:04 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


They've already shipped a bunch of critical retweets, so there's that?
posted by Annika Cicada at 3:05 PM on September 30, 2015


SecretAgentSockPuppet: VCs' valuations of companies are also mostly pulled out of their asses at this stage, with only a few real relevant features (have they shipped product before? have they been startup founders before? do they [seem to] know what the hell they're talking about? did they go to a school VC's like [Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, MIT, add a few others depending on the VC]?)
posted by curuinor at 3:05 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


please tell me that this isn't something where there could be a whole huge file of random, stupid or slanderous material about someone in an easy to locate, allegedly integrity-possessing site that

part of me thinks, the sooner the better for something like this. The universal easily accessible web 2.0 (or whatever we're up to at this point) proof that we're all creepy weird assholes whether we are or not, thus triggering a thermonuclear meltdown of the whole stupid notion that any set of metrics (or reviews) will ever accurately reflect who somebody actually is, thus bouncing us back the old tired and true process of actually getting to know someone before we pass judgment on them (or better yet, just skip the judgment part altogether)
posted by philip-random at 3:06 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Welp.
posted by kmz at 3:10 PM on September 30, 2015 [6 favorites]




lol.
posted by all about eevee at 3:17 PM on September 30, 2015


Welp.

That's like a pitch perfect impression of what aliens attempting to prepare us for ascension to a higher plane in their stomachs would say.
posted by PMdixon at 3:18 PM on September 30, 2015 [34 favorites]


NOT A ROBOT
posted by Artw at 3:19 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


METAFILTER: a pitch perfect impression of what aliens attempting to prepare us for ascension to a higher plane in their stomachs would say.
posted by philip-random at 3:20 PM on September 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


"Looking at everyone in the three ways you could possibly know someone – personally, professionally and romantically..."

Only three? Post-apocalypse, when food supplies are running low, there will be other ways you can know and view someone...

Potential lunch
posted by Wordshore at 3:20 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Give us... Your children.
posted by Artw at 3:21 PM on September 30, 2015


Somewhere buried near the bottom of the giant mountain of problems with this idea is one I haven't seen mentioned yet.

Names aren't valid primary keys. Lots of people have the same name.

This site will end up being completely harmless if your name is John Smith ("Yeah, there are tons of things there, but those are for some other John Smith") and completely terrible if your name is Ned Fnortner.

And if you share a name with a politician or a pornographic actress, God help you.

Luckily, it will be so polluted with garbage reviews, it will be completely worthless and nobody will use it for anything ever.

(Assuming the 8chan folks don't destroy it with hate, I assume some smart person will start a movement to get thousands of people to spam the site with positive, loving reviews of every single member...)
posted by mmoncur at 3:22 PM on September 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


#PrayForNedFnortner
posted by Wordshore at 3:23 PM on September 30, 2015 [20 favorites]


These (Canadian) lunatics should lawyer up and take a crash course in Canadian defamation law. Based on English common law, telling falsehoods does not necessarily mean defamation here, but telling truths does not necessarily act as a defense. If someone can show that they were injured (and that includes not being hired) because of a 'review', they could conceivably win a defamation suit even if the 'review' is truthful. Actual malice is not required to be found guilty of defamation in Canada. And I reaaallllly doubt that they could use the "public interest" defense. IANAL.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 3:24 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


The tagline on their logo is "character is destiny" What the hell does that even mean? Sounds like some ableist crap to me.
posted by Annika Cicada at 3:24 PM on September 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Their faq is kind of a hoot.

"Can I delete comments about me?" "No."
"What if I don't know the person who rated me?" "We'll delete the review and warn the person"

"Can I take myself off Peeple?" "No."
"What happens if I violate the terms and conditions?" "You will be removed from our app."
posted by aubilenon at 3:25 PM on September 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


That's like a pitch perfect impression of what aliens attempting to prepare us for ascension to a higher plane in their stomachs would say.

My god... PEEPLE IS SOYLENT GREEN!!
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:25 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have a really hard time imagining a significant enough number of people using this that it's not just a barren wasteland. But I've been wrong before.

That said, I can imagine this catching on in isolated pockets of teenagers. Which makes me wonder if it is legal to put a minor's name up on a website and refuse to take it down. It seems like there would be more legal protections there.
posted by geegollygosh at 3:25 PM on September 30, 2015


The tagline on their logo is "character is destiny" What the hell does that even mean? Sounds like some ableist crap to me.

It means if you are destined to be a babysitter then you are destined to show good character... And good character is never, ever saying anything in public that might attract a swarm of angry assholes.
posted by Artw at 3:27 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Names aren't valid primary keys. Lots of people have the same name.

It sounds like they're using phone numbers as primary keys instead of names. Which has its own slew of problems but it's at least better than names.
posted by aubilenon at 3:27 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Can I take myself off Peeple?" "No."
"What happens if I violate the terms and conditions?" "You will be removed from our app."


I think I see a solution here.
Step 1. Find terms and conditions.
Step 2. Find way to violate terms and conditions in a clear manner which doesn't harm others or cause legal liability.
Step 3. Create/sell webapp that auto-violates T&C.
posted by CrystalDave at 3:28 PM on September 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


That said, I can imagine this catching on in isolated pockets of teenagers. Which makes me wonder if it is legal to put a minor's name up on a website and refuse to take it down. It seems like there would be more legal protections there.

You have to be 21 to use this shitty service. Maybe teens could lie and say they were 21. Maybe adults could lie and say they were 18 to opt out - that might be easier than making an account and then violating their terms of service and hoping you get caught.
posted by aubilenon at 3:29 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


An Ode to Courage

WOW... I've never seen anyone un-ironically use "An Ode to" to describe... themselves.

I give it about two days before they "pivot" and focus on "positivity" like they've rewritten their front page to do. And it still won't work of course...
posted by mmoncur at 3:30 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Assuming the 8chan folks don't destroy it with hate

Peeple launch, day 2: every registered user is named Zoe or Anita and they're all terrible
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:32 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Smells a bit like proto-Whuffie ...?
Also: There Is No Such Thing As Bad Publicity.
posted by carter at 3:32 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


They also don't seem to understand the meaning of "ode". But I guess I'm being pedantic. They'll probably mention that in their review of me.
posted by kevinbelt at 3:33 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty sure there is such a thing as bad publicity.

So, should this fail to get off the ground, what's the betting that these folks actually turn out to be weirdo culture warrior assholes of some kind and have an enormous snitfit about it and that's their new business model?
posted by Artw at 3:35 PM on September 30, 2015


A cursory glance at Amazon will tell you that the only people who write reviews are people who are paid to, and people who are pissed...
posted by Sing Or Swim at 3:35 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


And if you share a name with a politician or a pornographic actress, God help you.

I share my name with a fugitive Hells Angel who was wanted for murder, so this should be awesome times.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:35 PM on September 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


ned fnortner? of the sagaponack fnortners?
posted by poffin boffin at 3:35 PM on September 30, 2015 [16 favorites]


No no. The Sagaponack Fnortners ran coke.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:36 PM on September 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


I share my name with a fugitive Hells Angel who was wanted for murder, so this should be awesome times.

If there is one person whom I am NOT likely to badmouth publicly with my name attached to it, it is a fugitive Hell's Angel who is wanted for murder. So you're fine.

...But don't people with normal hair named Donald Trump have hard enough lives as it is?
posted by delfin at 3:37 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Their web page also has tons of videos of a behind the scenes "documentary" about starting the company.

My guess: This is nothing more than a publicity stunt to get the two founders a reality TV show where they develop their next startup idea.
posted by mmoncur at 3:39 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Also, how can this actually happen? No opting out? Piss-weak verification tools? Never, ever hearing of sarcastic praise?

Well at least this puts some wind in my sails to launch my own mobile app, WhoThinksYouAreLiterallyHitler? Profiles are mandatory, and you pay for their removal. Launching this November because I am just so full of love and positivity for you all.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:40 PM on September 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


So, TOO DISTASTEFUL FOR EVEN SHARKS TO EAT TANK?
posted by delfin at 3:40 PM on September 30, 2015


Crassholes.
posted by CincyBlues at 3:46 PM on September 30, 2015


Artw, you'd be surprised (unfortunately). I guess the Disruption Train has kind of left the station, but they appear set on jumping on board, and maybe they will succeed ...
posted by carter at 3:51 PM on September 30, 2015


And, if you are not on Facebook they cannot do this to you anyway, right?

I'm not on Facebook but my dog is. Good thing she doesn't have a cell phone because I wouldn't want her to get her feelings hurt.
2 Stars. She is nicely groomed and really good at Sitting, Staying, and Rolling Over but I asked her to Give Me a Paw and she refused. She also would not eat the biscuit I was trying to give her. Whose a good dog? Not her.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:53 PM on September 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


DO NOT DISRUPT THE CLUETRAIN.
posted by Artw at 3:55 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


omg they posted the man in the arena quote on their facebook.

for people selling a searchable database of public judgement, they sure aren't taking public judgement well.
posted by postcommunism at 3:59 PM on September 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


And so begins The Battle for Middle Earth.
posted by Bob Regular at 4:00 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Good god but businesscreatures love to pat themselves on the back for bravely going forward with their shit-awful ideas
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:03 PM on September 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


Just the thought of this is enough to make me want to cut all ties and go hide off in a cabin in the woods far, far away from civilization, no cell phone, no internet, no people.

But then I remember this morning when the power went off for 20 minutes and I was like "Ugh, now I have to check metafilter on my phone!" and then the internet on my phone wasn't loading, and I was about to chuck my phone across the room in anger... and then the power came back on, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

So yeah, I just hope some internet hellions keep flooding the site with crap until they have to shut it down.
posted by litera scripta manet at 4:05 PM on September 30, 2015


tl;dr: KILL IT WITH FIRE
posted by litera scripta manet at 4:05 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


No one is more convinced of the importance of capitalists for society than capitalists.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:05 PM on September 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


Well, at least this makes me feel better about my pathological inability to form close social ties, and my lifelong quest to avoid intimacy all together. No exes to slander me, most of my extended family doesn't even know I exist... I've never felt better about my isolated existence!

Although, I can also imagine a dark dystopic universe where this does catch on, and it could turn into something like linked in where everyone has a profile, so suddenly it's a knock against you if you have no profile whatsoever, so I guess that just brings me back to...

KILL IT WITH FIRE
posted by litera scripta manet at 4:12 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]



So I read the comments and found out that this is app is so awesome and positive with hugs and love that anyone who knows my cellphone number can show their love by lovingly making a profile for me. And I will get a lovely message informing me what this lovely person has done. And this huggy brimming with positive viby vibes will not let me remove my profile because I mean why would I not want all the huggy and loviness shown to the big wide happy and wuvy world.

I can't see this going well at all...
posted by Jalliah at 4:15 PM on September 30, 2015


i was just reading Work is More Than A Source of Income[*] (by tim o'reilly ;)
I think that a lot of what people do on social media, entertaining their friends, is a kind of work that we don’t appreciate. Cory Doctorow’s first book, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, depicts a world of abundance in which the economy is based on reputation, people compete to impress each other, and are paid in a reputation currency.

One could argue that Likes on Facebook, YouTube, and other social media platforms are a prototype of this kind of reputation economy.
chinese version![1,2,3]

also btw...
Individuals don’t in fact enjoy being evaluated all the time, especially when the results are not always stellar: for most people, one piece of negative feedback outweighs five pieces of positive feedback. To the extent that measurement raises income inequality, perhaps it makes relations among the workers tenser and less friendly. Life under a meritocracy can be a little tough, unfriendly, and discouraging, especially for those whose morale is easily damaged. Privacy in this world will be harder to come by, and perhaps “second chances” will be more difficult to find, given the permanence of electronic data. We may end up favoring “goody two-shoes” personality types who were on the straight and narrow from their earliest years and disfavor those who rebelled at young ages, even if those people might end up being more creative later on.
posted by kliuless at 4:16 PM on September 30, 2015 [22 favorites]


KNOW NO ONE.
posted by srboisvert at 4:18 PM on September 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


"Can I delete comments about me?" "No."
"What if I don't know the person who rated me?" "We'll delete the review and warn the person"


So you can get any comments you want deleted by just claiming you don't know the person? Lol. This whole thing is a MESS. I'm serious, did they think this through at all?
posted by triggerfinger at 4:22 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


"The measured worker" nails everything I loathe about modern work.
posted by Annika Cicada at 4:25 PM on September 30, 2015


From their facebook page:
In terms of being accountable to what you say about someone we have a dispute resolution feature that has any review with 2 stars or less go into the inbox of the person being reviewed and not live on the app for 48 hours. Assuming you can't turn a negative into a positive the comment goes live and the person can now publicly defend themselves.


I don't know what the hell this means, but it's definitely not Earthling speak.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:29 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


So the day is coming when the number of favorites I have on MetaFilter is going to be reflected in my CV, right?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:29 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


So you can get any comments you want deleted by just claiming you don't know the person? Lol. This whole thing is a MESS. I'm serious, did they think this through at all?

I missed that part. I'm wondering if it's not about thinking it through but because of just being so caught up in this supposed loving and positive thing that they really think that people won't just lie about people in their reviews or lie to get review removed so not you know not a super big thing to deal with.

It would be nice if internet world was like how they seem to think it is or want it to be. If they truly believe what they're saying and in what they seem to think is going to happen I almost feel sorry for them with the big smack of reality that they're going to experience.
posted by Jalliah at 4:30 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


If there isn't a law against stuff like this we need one like, yesterday. People should be able to not be forced to play on the internet if they so choose. Privacy should be allowed. The whole "other people can just add you" thing sickens me. This is ripe for all kinds of abuse. And saying you are doing this to "protect the children" just makes it more gross. People had better sue the crap out of this if it ever launches. And if anyone adds me I will go apeshit on them if I know them...
posted by FireFountain at 4:33 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Idea: Someone should ask the founders to do an AMA at Reddit. They'd probably agree, for the publicity, and within 20 minutes they'll learn a tragic lesson about the "positivity" of internet critics.

I guess this is kind of fighting evil with other evil, though.
posted by mmoncur at 4:34 PM on September 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


Oh this is great, someone linked this thread on their FB page, I went to 'like' that comment and it had already been deleted.

Big fans of what people think about others, unless it's applied to them, and it's negative.
posted by Pink Frost at 4:34 PM on September 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


Assuming you can't turn a negative into a positive the comment goes live and the person can now publicly defend themselves.

I don't know what the hell this means, but it's definitely not Earthling speak.


I know, I know.

We'll get 48 hours to directly resolve any negativity directly with the reviewer. Thus fostering more good and positivity in the world. Who wouldn't want that?
posted by Jalliah at 4:38 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


So you can get any comments you want deleted by just claiming you don't know the person? Lol. This whole thing is a MESS. I'm serious, did they think this through at all?

But then the question is, do you have to create a profile to tell them you don't know that person? And then, what about that whole 48 hour window for contesting negative reviews? Does that apply to reviews that were posted six months ago before you created an account but are now immediately viewable since you created a profile?

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if they decide, well, even if you claim that person doesn't know you, as long as they have your cell phone number, we're going to assume that they do in fact know you.

Note to self: Get new cell phone number. Tell no one.
posted by litera scripta manet at 4:38 PM on September 30, 2015


"[Ex] is an awesome person. I am in awe of his courage, from his decision to seek treatment for his bipolar to the kickass lawsuit he filed against his last employer."
posted by Ralston McTodd at 4:38 PM on September 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Oh this is great, someone linked this thread on their FB page, I went to 'like' that comment and it had already been deleted.

They're frantically deleting comments right now. I just tried to "like" about 10 of them and they were all already gone.

I hope they make it just as easy for ME to delete negative reviews!
posted by mmoncur at 4:43 PM on September 30, 2015 [18 favorites]


I'm so relieved now! After my Ashley Madison experience turning out the way it did, this one seems totally legit and safe...
posted by Chuffy at 4:51 PM on September 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


So you can get any comments you want deleted by just claiming you don't know the person? Lol. This whole thing is a MESS. I'm serious, did they think this through at all?

I wonder how big they plan on their support team being, because i can't see a scenario in which there aren't like millions of open tickets at any given time.

Either their support is just going to be completely nonresponsive and they'll be on in the news constantly(at least online) for heinous abuses, or they're going to bleed money.

And how the fuck does this dumb idea get monetized? Payment to remove negative reviews?
posted by emptythought at 4:55 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I hope they make it just as easy for ME to delete negative reviews!

They will! They are a positive app for positive people! It's all about positivity! They don't even understand why anyone would be negative, but if they are, then they have a process.
posted by Pink Frost at 4:56 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


curuinor: "I would put about half-half chance that they'll be able to shit a v1.0 at all,"

Truer words were never autosuggested.
posted by scrump at 5:00 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]



This app is going to be so full of positivity that it will only attract good and positive people. No worries it will positively repel negativity.
posted by Jalliah at 5:01 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wonder how big they plan on their support team being, because i can't see a scenario in which there aren't like millions of open tickets at any given time.


Yeah, presuming they can ship anything at all before their tiny seed round dries up, just paying the salaries for the customer service team will bankrupt them a month.
posted by murphy slaw at 5:01 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


6. When you login to our app we ask you if you are single. If you answer yes then you can use the dating section of our app. If you say no we respect you and your relationship and no one has the right to disrupt how happy you are with that person. If you are single you can use the dating section of our site. If you are not you cannot.

My emphasis. What the fuck does that even mean?
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 5:01 PM on September 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


So all I need to do is get rid of my phone number and I'm exempt? Seems easy enough.
posted by holmesian at 5:02 PM on September 30, 2015


Facebook doesn't have a dislike button. Maybe they should check that option out...
posted by Chuffy at 5:03 PM on September 30, 2015


> Idea: Someone should ask the founders to do an AMA at Reddit

They already tried to defend themselves in /r/Calgary
posted by postcommunism at 5:06 PM on September 30, 2015


me right now
posted by en forme de poire at 5:07 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


brb, getting plastic surgery and changing my name and moving to australia
posted by en forme de poire at 5:08 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ode to Consensus

I love threads like this where everybody universally realizes the absolutely terrible nature of an idea, and comes together as a community to take a huge righteous dump on it.

Seriously, this makes me feel better than the MeTa thread where we say nice things about each other. I haven't had this much fun since the thread about the weird Victorian corset fetish couple.



Well, in Whoville they say- that TheWhiteSkull's small heart grew three sizes that day.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:09 PM on September 30, 2015 [33 favorites]


It's official. The internet is evil.
posted by Beholder at 5:10 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's exactly what the Peeple founders will be saying on the news next week when they're interviewed for the article with the headline "Internet haters ruined our great startup company."
posted by mmoncur at 5:12 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


They're just going to write bad reviews for all of us
posted by aubilenon at 5:13 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh my gosh, you guys. They didn't even do due diligence on the name! This company: has a kickstarter funded product called Peeple, that is a camera for your peep hole. It's got prior art on the name.

These "entrepreneurs" are too stupid to google.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:13 PM on September 30, 2015 [21 favorites]


I can confirm that Faint of Butt is an awesome entity that leaves a truly salutary amount of mayhem wherever he/she/it passes, and whenever he/she/it is not on Metafilter I can only assume it's because he/she/it is taking a well-deserved nap in a sunken city somewhere.
posted by um at 5:15 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


This reminds me of whuffie, a concept developed by Corey Doctorow in his novel Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom. In that book your whuffie score is a bit like a Peeple rating would be - it's a cumulative record of what people think of you, except you can use it to buy stuff like real estate. Supposedly this makes the world a better place because people profit from being nice to each other. But the downside is that when people start to dislike someone, that person becomes poor and has few options to rebuild their net worth.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:18 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


No no. The Sagaponack Fnortners ran coke.

Right. I was thinking of the Hamtramck Fnortners. The ones with the gigantic growths on their necks and 270k in seed money.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:18 PM on September 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


that is a camera for your peep hole.

Man, that's nasty.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:20 PM on September 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


from the Reddit link:

Google cannot access our reviews or users.

LOL
posted by Artw at 5:22 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


postcommunism: "
They already tried to defend themselves in /r/Calgary
"

Or did they? Is Reddit's user account system something that handles someone spoofing a name?
posted by Mitheral at 5:24 PM on September 30, 2015


Fund my new social app Karmr! You can rate everybody you know, but every rating you give is applied to you instead.

of course we didn't tell you this that's the point
posted by solarion at 5:35 PM on September 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


Man, that's nasty.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:20 PM on September 30


OMG that made me laugh so hard I started crying sad tears.
posted by Annika Cicada at 5:38 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


And going the other way, China intends to give each of its citizens a rating based on things like their criminal and credit history, and their "behavior on social media."
posted by Kevin Street at 5:39 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


i don't think even my stellar credit rating could cancel out the time i spammed the white house tumblr's inbox with demands that the president officially change his name to B. A. Barackus Obama
posted by poffin boffin at 5:42 PM on September 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


Relevant SMBC.
posted by brecc at 5:47 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm officially giving a bad Peeple review to the next person who mentions Doctorow's Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom.

CONSIDER YOURSELVES WARNED
posted by Chrysostom at 5:49 PM on September 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


Sorry, will Ctrl-F before posting next time.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:52 PM on September 30, 2015


Maybe it's just me getting older, or maybe a sign of the times, but I end up saying "That's the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard of" on at LEAST a weekly basis these days.
posted by Mooski at 5:52 PM on September 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


Yet another way refusing to have a cell phone pays off dividends.
posted by davelog at 5:53 PM on September 30, 2015


Creeple.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 5:54 PM on September 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


i think it's that more and more stupid people are thinking of stupid things and other stupid people are telling them those stupid things are awesome and then we end up with cretins who would have been driven from medieval villages with a shower of rocks and rotting vegetables but are inexplicably now in 2015 hailed as geniuses worthy of venture capital
posted by poffin boffin at 5:55 PM on September 30, 2015 [25 favorites]


and enough of the idiots win the tech startup lottery to become VCs and fund further idiocy

basically idiots all the way down now
posted by murphy slaw at 5:59 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wow, these two really did no customer outreach, did they? On the plus side, all this negative press and their clueless reaction to it is probably going to do them in before they even start. They're going to walk in to meetings for their Series A and those investors are going say nope.
posted by Existential Dread at 6:02 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


So it's rate my teacher / rate my professor for the general public? Those sites have been around a while. Any legal precedent with regard to rating disputes with them?
posted by cnanderson at 6:10 PM on September 30, 2015


Give it a week, they'll try to sue someone for posting negatively about their service and then disappear in a singularity when the irony is too strong for the universe to contain.
posted by mmoncur at 6:10 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Aw, damn, they deleted all the comments I made on their Facebook page and blocked me.
posted by all about eevee at 6:10 PM on September 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Dear aliens: please come get me, I want off this planet.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:15 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm now solidly in cranky old person territory with regards to much innovation on the internet, as there seems to be an endless wave of cheerily promoted dystopian horrors pouring out of the San Francisco hellmouth.

This company is from Calgary. A polite Canadian city.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:15 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh sure these two dunkleheads are going to have a giant flop but the idea of rating other people is not going to disappear. I already get asked for ratings on cashiers, office receptionists, and professors, why not my neighbors, my relatives, and my book club buddies? Maybe my husband and I should write up little reviews about each other "to be opened in case of death."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:17 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


That article took me from zero to angry in less than 12 parsecs.

I know that doesn't technically make sense. Too irritated to care.
posted by SpacemanStix at 6:18 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ah the Facebook page is high comedy.
posted by Nevin at 6:21 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


This company is from Calgary. A polite Canadian city.

Actually in their rebuttal to the Metro News or whatever story, they take pains to point out (you can almost hear the vocal fry) that they're not from Calgary. They're from the States or something.
posted by Nevin at 6:23 PM on September 30, 2015


No one mentioned this:

"5. If you are someone that leaves more negative reviews than positive reviews you will not be taken seriously in our app due to the positivity rating that you will have (goes up for positive reviews, goes down when you make negative ones). This encourages users to be positive. Your overall star rating and positivity score is visible next to any comment you ever make in this app so we can assess your credibility in rating someone based on how you show up in this world."
posted by PMdixon at 6:33 PM on September 30, 2015


you can almost hear the vocal fry

Let's not do this.
posted by delight at 6:33 PM on September 30, 2015 [42 favorites]


I wonder what they are doing there - stick photography is the usual Calgary tech startup niche.
posted by Artw at 6:33 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm going to go to great pains to point out that they said that one of them is not from Calgary. Logically this could be taken to mean that the other one is, or that neither of them are, but not both! Oh no, they are definitely not both from Calgary.
posted by TwoWordReview at 6:34 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


They also don't seem to understand the meaning of "ode".

I did a bit of revision to get it up to formal snuff.

[Tunes lyre as choristers shuffle onstage, decked with red gold and garbed in the colors of festival.]

MOVEMENT TO THE WEST
Who is wise? The one who fears the gods
Their angry justice and their terrible caprice
Who shrinks from a hint of lightning and looks on
With dread as the lean meat burns too slow
Sputtering on the altar of sacrifice
Meager smoke curling beneath the force
Of heaven's impatience
And displeasure.


MOVEMENT TO THE EAST
Then who's a fool? The one who fears aught
That's of this world: the clump of brush
Which may conceal a wolf; a knife beneath the robe;
The hidden coasts of Spain and Colchis; and most of all
The opinion of their fellows. I disdain the one
Who disdains to hear his worth.
He will know no fame
Nor deserve it.


ASSEMBLE AT CENTER
And as fear
Is counterweight to courage
So it is brave to accept the praise of friends.
And as piety
Is the mark of wisdom
So it is good to adore the bountiful gods
Who grant us the means to air our valuations.
Accept your worth
At its worth
And their favors will adorn you and your sons
The favors of Pluto
And Hecate
And Typhon.


[A live bull is dragged onto the stage, and its throat is cut.]
posted by Your Disapproving Father at 6:37 PM on September 30, 2015 [23 favorites]


I'm going to go to great pains to point out that they said that one of them is not from Calgary. Logically this could be taken to mean that the other one is, or that neither of them are, but not both! Oh no, they are definitely not both from Calgary.

It's really weird because the Facebook page is all about the Calgary startup scene. But the response to Calgary Metro News does say that they're not from Calgary. Weird.
posted by Nevin at 6:38 PM on September 30, 2015


There is no way that this will comply with Canadian privacy law. The Canadian regulators are some of the more savvy ones. They'll have a field day with this.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:39 PM on September 30, 2015


If this is even remotely successful, Facebook can duplicate it with two junior programmers in about a week and a half.

I'm not sure if that's amusing, or terrifying.
posted by underflow at 6:43 PM on September 30, 2015


But... we all know how this is going to end, right? In the first 24 hours, the CEO of Peeple will have 100,000 reviews of her on the app, all of them negative, many of them death or rape threats (because she's a woman on the Internet, irrelevant that she's kind of horrible, being a woman is enough), and it is going to ruin her, personally and professionally, and we'll all sort of watch uncomfortably, and then 2 or 3 days later the thinkpieces will come, and we'll all share them on Twitter and Facebook and Metafilter, and then we'll forget about it. The end.
posted by duffell at 6:48 PM on September 30, 2015 [17 favorites]


Duffell, you forgot about the much popcorn, so flying.
posted by Annika Cicada at 6:56 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Your overall star rating and positivity score is visible next to any comment you ever make in this app so we can assess your credibility in rating someone based on how you show up in this world.

So your credibility is directly related to your positivity. Because of course that's an accurate reflection of the real world.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:56 PM on September 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I wondered how long it would take for someone to do something new on the internet that Reddit could point to and say, "Well, at least we're not THAT."
posted by 4ster at 7:03 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, they've now protected their twitter profile. Honestly, if a couple of hours of people tweeting at them doesn't make them understand that the presumption that people will be mostly positive is a fantasy then I don't know what to say anymore.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:05 PM on September 30, 2015 [23 favorites]


48 followers.

*Snerk*. No one wants to hear from these idiots.

I mean, they want everyone to rate other people without consent, and they protect their tweets? Ridic.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:07 PM on September 30, 2015


Huh. Come to think of it, this is so closely related to Facebook's stack. I wonder if it's actually a stalking horse for Facebook to judge public reaction to the idea, without their users going nuts over the idea.

(/conspiracy)
posted by underflow at 7:17 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Existential Dread: "Wow, these two really did no customer outreach, did they? On the plus side, all this negative press and their clueless reaction to it is probably going to do them in before they even start. They're going to walk in to meetings for their Series A and those investors are going say nope."

But look how much buzz they've been able to generate.
posted by RobotHero at 7:32 PM on September 30, 2015


If they really wanted this to be all "positive" and that, they'd make an app that only let you say nice things about a person.

I don't think that's what this about. :/
posted by fiercekitten at 7:46 PM on September 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


"5. If you are someone that leaves more negative reviews than positive reviews you will not be taken seriously in our app due to the positivity rating that you will have (goes up for positive reviews, goes down when you make negative ones). This encourages users to be positive. Your overall star rating and positivity score is visible next to any comment you ever make in this app so we can assess your credibility in rating someone based on how you show up in this world."

So... i can make a shitload of dummy accounts based on bunk facebook/etc profiles, leave 5-6 random generic positive reviews, then shit on several people... and do this repeatedly, leaving someone like 30 negative reviews?

Gotcha.

If this site launches i'm literally registering a domain and offering a fake reviews for money service, just like those instagram/twitter/facebook page followers for money ones.
posted by emptythought at 7:49 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


leave 5-6 random generic positive reviews, then shit on several people

People already do that on Reddit, since you need some baseline karma if you want to shitpost without being rate limited by downvotes.
posted by postcommunism at 7:51 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


The electronic panopticon comforts me; it makes my chronic paranoia feel completely reasonable.

And now it's basically come true! Time to go live in a cabin in the woods.
oh, hell yes

A bubbly, no-holds-barred “trendy lady” with a marketing degree
see, now that's evil incarnate right there
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 8:18 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Only three? Post-apocalypse, when food supplies are running low, there will be other ways you can know and view someone...


enough about poo rating, jesus
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:23 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


This thing is going to fail, not because it is outrageous, but because it is garbage. In fact, outrage is really the only thing it has on its side. The VCs are betting that all this attention will somehow translate into money.

A few things to remember :

1) User-generated content is mostly useless garbage. Metafilter is the exception. Peeple promises to be the Youtube comments section for human beings. You're worried about slander? Think more like bathroom wall graffiti.

2) It's almost impossible to get people to use a new social network. Nobody has the time. Google failed at it, and they were offering something that wasn't (entirely) useless garbage.

3) Sites that rely on user-generated content succeed because they have massive armies of people who give a shit about them. Metafilter has Mefites. Wikipedia has its cult of editors. Yelp has their Yelp Elite. Who is going to love and care for Peeple, a site that aspires to be the most mean-spirited place on the internet?

4) Finally, there's just no reason for Peeple to exist. None. Care.com is a where you go to find a babysitter. Linkedin is where you go to find a job. Yelp is where you go to find a burrito (or a doctor). All these sites help you find something or do something. What exactly does Peeple help you do?

Peeple will find its greatest utility as a target for vandalism. Nobody will be talking about it a year from now.
posted by panama joe at 8:28 PM on September 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


for people selling a searchable database of public judgement, they sure aren't taking public judgement well.

Perhaps if they add the ability for users to post motivational Gifs to their Peepl Profile by way of rebuttal the bounty of positivity and connection will be uninterrupted.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:31 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


The anti-bullying CYA, as pointed out up-thread is such hollow, transparent bullshit.

Cordray says: True to her site’s radical philosophy, she has promised to take any and all criticism as feedback.
yousuckshityoureevil? I want to bombard her with feedback, lots of feedback.

They're frantically deleting comments right now.
but, feedback? We have so much positive reviews to share with you ladies.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 8:43 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


If you are someone that leaves more negative reviews than positive reviews you will not be taken seriously in our app due to the positivity rating that you will have (goes up for positive reviews, goes down when you make negative ones). This encourages users to be positive. Your overall star rating and positivity score is visible next to any comment you ever make in this app so we can assess your credibility in rating someone based on how you show up in this world."

But just like with the "not showing negative reviews" thing above, it seems like this can be circumvented by giving people a 3 star score, and then leaving a scathing comment that may be spun to look like it's not so terrible (see clever examples posted earlier in the thread).

I wondered how long it would take for someone to do something new on the internet that Reddit could point to and say, "Well, at least we're not THAT."

Hell, 4chan could probably point to this and say "Well, at least we're not THAT."*

But as pointed out above, this will probably get ripped up by the angry internet mobs in two seconds flat. The real lasting damage will come from Facebook and/or Google learning from this, and then finding a way to do it better. And that's what makes me want to start looking at real estate listings for an isolated cabin in the woods.

*If they actually cared about other people thinking they're the worst of the internet, but I guess maybe being the worst is a point of pride? I don't know. I try to stay away from that dark corner of the interwebs.
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:49 PM on September 30, 2015


They're frantically deleting comments right now.

Well, you see, when we say we're Positive People we meant we're positive about ourselves! And you should be too! Because we're awesome!

But the rest of you, well, you're probably all crap, so we've created this app so that we can find out just how terrible all of you really are.

(Or at least that's what I get from reading between the lines.)
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:53 PM on September 30, 2015 [4 favorites]



Aw, damn, they deleted all the comments I made on their Facebook page and blocked me.


Me too! So much for appreciating feedback!
posted by mmoncur at 8:55 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now that there's a parody account that looks exactly like their real account, we're at the point where there is something online that is actively hurting Peeple's reputation, and they have no control over it. Which is pretty much their entire app in a nutshell. I predict they pull the plans for this by the end of the week.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:57 PM on September 30, 2015 [17 favorites]


Some more "between the line" reading of their latest facebook post:

We welcome your feedback

And when we say "welcome" we mean, shut up unless your "feedback" is about how awesome we are. Because we're Positive! People!

We want you to know that we will seriously consider what our Beta testers want.

And when we say "seriously consider," we mean that we'll ignore it completely unless what you "want" confirms what we've already decided to do and involves huge amounts of praise about our and/or the app's brilliance.

Because we're Positive! People!

Okay, I'll stop now.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:02 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Highlights from their Facebook comments with translations:

we love your idea and are already considering that as a real possibility for the app to only allow positive reviews. We will know as we get closer to launch day on what we want to do there.

So "We're willing to completely change the entire purpose of the company if that's what it takes to get more VC money."

(About deleting comments) we are answering questions of anyone that takes the time to ask. Just commenting your opinion does not help us build a better app. We are happy to engage with people that want to add value and make the world better.

"Yeah, just adding opinions about something is useless... I certainly wouldn't consider that the entire purpose of our app."
posted by mmoncur at 9:06 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Okay, that parody account is the best thing to come out of this mess. Gotta love a good dose of snark.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:08 PM on September 30, 2015


I'm a put this out there without really knowing one way or another whether there's anything to it...the non parody twitter lists their "birthday" as April 1st.
posted by juv3nal at 9:10 PM on September 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


From a post on their facebook page:

Well Calgary, We have waited 1.5 years to get to this milestone. It's official the Peeple App will rate how you show up in this world!

I love how they say that like it's a good thing, and not the waking nightmare of like 99% of the world.

(That 1% is taking into account the few people who are convinced that they're so awesome that no one could say anything bad about them and anyone who never had any contact with their peers from the ages of 12 to 18.)
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:14 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


duffell: But... we all know how this is going to end, right? In the first 24 hours, the CEO of Peeple will have 100,000 reviews of her on the app, all of them negative, many of them death or rape threats (because she's a woman on the Internet, irrelevant that she's kind of horrible, being a woman is enough), and it is going to ruin her, personally and professionally

The odds that there isn't some sort of secret protected account (that allows for the review and selected deletion of comments) for the founders, their family and besties, favorite celebrities, and assorted rich people are vanishingly slim. They'll deny it for a while, then quietly do the it's-a-feature-not-a-bug dance and offer it as a "premium" option.

panama joe: yeah, we'd all like to think so. But. TAL did an episode on a small-town hairdresser who had his life ruined in two ways: first, his fiancee's ex-husband killed her and then himself, and then one woman who still bore some inchoate grudge against him from having worked with him years previously ruined his reputation in the town by posting on a local news/social networking site called Topix under a number of sock puppets. (In a rare instance of justice being served, he won a libel lawsuit against her--she tried to cite the First Amendment, but couldn't actually say what it said under cross-examination--but she couldn't pay any of the judgment.) This thing may not get much popular traction, but still be adopted by a local group of bullies and mean kids and be used to abuse people before it's shut down.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:16 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, on non preview:

the non parody twitter lists their "birthday" as April 1st.

Good catch, juv3nal! The plot thickens! If this all turns out to be some sort of elaborate hoax, we can mark this down as another one of those "Metafilter helps uncover internet hoax" moments.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:19 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Assuming you can't turn a negative into a positive the comment goes live and the person can now publicly defend themselves."

I don't know what the hell this means, but it's definitely not Earthling speak.


As far as I understand, their intention is that you, after you've received a notice that person X has given you a negative review, will talk and convince person X that you don't deserve that negative rating, and then person X will change their review of you and everything will be fine and butterflies.
posted by ymgve at 9:21 PM on September 30, 2015


From their FB page:
Hey Visitors to our page:
We hear you loud and clear. (Like this post if we understood you)
1. You want the option to opt in or opt out.
2. You don't want the ability for users to start your profiles even if you would only get positive reviews if they did (Our app does not allow negative reviews for unclaimed profiles)
3. You didn't know that people are genuinely good even though Yelp has over 47 million reviews and all the users are anonymous and in that 47 million reviews there are 79% positive reviews. (We are not anonymous as users of the Peeple app which should make our positivity even higher than Yelp)
4. You want this available on Android too (We are building it now)


I know it's wrong of me, but I hate that these two are women. Women in tech do not need this. Sigh.
posted by frumiousb at 9:25 PM on September 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Honestly, scratch that. I hate that these two are humans. Any chance of them being animations or something?
posted by frumiousb at 9:27 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE .

Also, dear lady who wants to "rate people so I can protect my children" - how about leaving your ivory tower and doing this thing called talking to OTHER HUMAN BEINGS.
posted by LuckyMonkey21 at 9:28 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


You didn't know that people are genuinely good

Citation needed.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:29 PM on September 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


Also, they've now protected their twitter profile. Honestly, if a couple of hours of people tweeting at them doesn't make them understand that the presumption that people will be mostly positive is a fantasy then I don't know what to say anymore.

that is some hideous jpeg gore on the header image holy shit. Really? this is supposed to be a web 2.1 company people are supposed to throw money at, and they can't even get their twitter presence right?
posted by emptythought at 9:30 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


From their FB page:
Hey Visitors to our page:
We hear you loud and clear. (Like this post if we understood you)
1. You want the option to opt in or opt out.
2. You don't want the ability for users to start your profiles even if you would only get positive reviews if they did (Our app does not allow negative reviews for unclaimed profiles)
3. You didn't know that people are genuinely good even though Yelp has over 47 million reviews and all the users are anonymous and in that 47 million reviews there are 79% positive reviews. (We are not anonymous as users of the Peeple app which should make our positivity even higher than Yelp)
4. You want this available on Android too (We are building it now)


1. No, assholes. We don't want to be involved in your fever dream group masturbation project. At all. Leave us out of it.
2. No, assholes. See 1.
3. No, you smug, oblivious assholes. People are inherently good? Yelp is a paragon? Go fuck yourselves. What about those 21% that are negative reviews? By your reasoning, those are 'inherently bad' people? And you want us all to expose ourselves to 10 million negative reviews? From inherently bad people? About ourselves as people? Do you even internet? No, don't answer, just go fuck yourselves.
4. No, assholes. See 1.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:36 PM on September 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I know it's wrong of me, but I hate that these two are women. Women in tech do not need this. Sigh.

Yea, i definitely feel that. I've already seen this getting spun in a "gossipy harpies are gossipy news at 11" sort of way. I haven't even opened any of the reddit threads because i just know it's going to be all "women invent app to talk shit on people is anyone surprised?"

It's not just that it's shitty, and they come off shitty, it's that this comes off as shitty in a way that's easy for misogynists to read as coded feminine which like, great job y'all.
posted by emptythought at 9:41 PM on September 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


You didn't know that people are genuinely good even though Yelp

Ha ha ha ha ha etc.

A lot of people on Yelp aren't even genuinely people. (And, no, tying things to Facebook is not a solution to that.)
posted by Sys Rq at 9:42 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


3. You didn't know that people are genuinely good even though Yelp has over 47 million reviews and all the users are anonymous and in that 47 million reviews there are 79% positive reviews. (We are not anonymous as users of the Peeple app which should make our positivity even higher than Yelp)

Hoooly shit this is turbo condescension. "You're so bitter and joyless and cynical that you can't see the basic goodness in people. Click Like if you agree, you miserable shitbag."
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 9:42 PM on September 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


We'll get 48 hours to directly resolve any negativity directly with the reviewer. Thus fostering more good and positivity in the world. Who wouldn't want that?
Stephanie Illiamswlliamson has given you a negative review!

Hi, I must say I like these person more I first met him! Perhaps, he needs some CHEAP CIALIS PHARMACEUTICALS CHEAP CIALIS for better humors? Love, Diane

Click here to contact Stephanie Illiamswlliamson and resolve the issue before the review goes live!

You now have 47 hours and 56 minutes to comply.
posted by No-sword at 9:55 PM on September 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


I'm leaning towards an elaborate hoax-- or maybe the secret return of Spamford Wallace or something.
posted by frumiousb at 9:56 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thinking positive for a moment, I think the best thing that could come out of this would be if the new season of Review With Forrest MacNeil ran with this and started reviewing being individual people rather than life experiences.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 9:57 PM on September 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


We hear you loud and clear. (Like this post if we understood you)

So far one person has liked their post. Some of the responses telling them that they are condescending idiots have nearly 50 likes :)
posted by Pink Frost at 10:23 PM on September 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


You all know that, as described, this can't work without Facebook API access, and that Facebook will set this on fire within *minutes* of it launching, right?
posted by genghis at 10:39 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


3. You didn't know that people are genuinely good

Lemon, what happened in your childhood to make you believe that people are good?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:48 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


You all know that, as described, this can't work without Facebook API access, and that Facebook will set this on fire within *minutes* of it launching, right?

I wouldn't be so sure of that. Facebook desperately wants to monetise its user base. If they got a cut, they could be into it. It's not like they don't anger their user base on a near daily basis.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:48 PM on September 30, 2015


I'm not even reading all the comments because THEIR BUSINESS MODEL IS BASED ON SENDING UNSOLICITED TEXT MESSAGES TO PEOPLE WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT!! That's all.
posted by rdr at 10:52 PM on September 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


posted by aka burlap There's somewhere where people are rating bowel movements?

Poople.
posted by mattdidthat at 11:06 PM on September 30, 2015 [16 favorites]


The collage-thingy that comes up when you search for #Peeple on Twitter is beautiful
posted by runincircles at 12:24 AM on October 1, 2015


Yeah, a business sending unsolicited text messages runs afoul of the law, as I understand it. And every instance creates a fine. I just got a notice that I'm due some class action money from Walgreens for sending me a text. So this is pretty much a total nonstarter once a VC runs it past their legal department.

I sincerely doubt they'll successfully dodge it by trying to claim that they were merely a service allowing your friend to send you a text. Not after all this PR.
posted by stoneweaver at 12:26 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, we really really can do better than personally attacking these two. We do not need to be a part of that hate mob. It's a bad look. Let's rag on this terrible terrible idea, but leave out calling them names or looking forward to their harassment. Let's leave that to the fetid parts of the internet.
posted by stoneweaver at 12:29 AM on October 1, 2015 [12 favorites]


I think the defense might be they're sending text messages on your reviewing freind's behalf, so it's not really unsolicited

Clearly though the founders have a hard time imagining people wouldn't want this. It took a huge outcry before the were willing to admit/accept that "you're in whether you like it or not" would really bother the "or not" people.
posted by aubilenon at 12:35 AM on October 1, 2015


Yay, rate my professor for everyone! Only even more sucky! Whee!
posted by leahwrenn at 12:41 AM on October 1, 2015


You all know that, as described, this can't work without Facebook API access, and that Facebook will set this on fire within *minutes* of it launching, right?

I wouldn't be so sure of that. Facebook desperately wants to monetise its user base. If they got a cut, they could be into it. It's not like they don't anger their user base on a near daily basis.
Not shutting it down would cause an earth-shaking legal clusterfuck in the EU, whose de-facto supreme court is about to rule the entire existing transatlantic personal-data-sharing treaty unlawful. It's bad enough that Facebook itself can't shove your personal data to its own servers over known-compromised links, but these idiots want them to hand it over to a third-party for the explicit purpose of blackmail. FB will kill it stone dead and we're getting worked up over nothing. Which is not to say it's not fun.
posted by genghis at 1:10 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


poffin boffin: "Why can't the public have the right to find out how someone shows up in the world? To protect themselves and make better decisions? Why do we not need this?

this woman is a menace and we must drive her into the sea.
"

Why ruin a perfectly lovely ocean? This is why we can't have nice things.

Wordshore: "#PrayForNedFnortner"

Nope. He's a 1 star. He can rot in hell.
posted by Samizdata at 1:49 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ugh. Even if there were a way to prevent sarcastic-positive reviews, who's to say what's really positive? How many female coworkers will get "always has a smile on her face" positive reviews, instead of actual substantive comments about their workplace competence? Or - "is very good at administrative tasks".... even the person leaving the review might genuinely believe it to be positive and helpful. Doesn't mean it is.

It's just like ratemyprof, only worse.
posted by nat at 2:09 AM on October 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


Have they existed long enough that there is Peeple swag? Because I want a Peeple t shirt. Character is Destiny, y'all.
posted by rdr at 3:10 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Facebook effectively shut down Lulu, as did legal action in several countries (not the USA).

This will go the same way within weeks. Facebook hates this kind of thing because it's all the bad stuff about privacy but they don't even control it.
posted by colie at 3:24 AM on October 1, 2015


The stream of "sold shares in" events on this FB profile to a --- er --- questionably-experienced array of A-list advisers adds further fuel to the notion that this Probably Isn't Really A Thing.

[Edit: Also not exactly a rocket surgeon.]
posted by genghis at 3:32 AM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


On the other hand...

Whenever there is a rape conviction, or a famous person is accused of rape, it comes out that many other people were raped by the rapist, but never came forward / weren't believed / didn't know what to do / only realised later / etc.

And within communities there are often people whose sexual behaviour is a problem, and "everyone knows", and it is managed - don't leave the person alone with a new person, and so on.

So...

A mechanism by which people could discreetly flag "this person is, you know, a bit rapey" is something that the social media world, and people in general who want to avoid rapists, seems to be crying out for.

So there's that.

Obviously barring an actual end to rape, of course, which would be the best outcome.
posted by alasdair at 3:35 AM on October 1, 2015


I look forward to seeing how these people respond to criticisms of their site in public media.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 3:36 AM on October 1, 2015


Could this be viral marketing for The Circle?
posted by padraigin at 4:46 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


#PrayForNedFnortner"

Nope. He's a 1 star. He can rot in hell.

posted by Samizdata at 4:49 AM on October 1

Ned Fnortner has left you negative feedback
Ted Fnortner has left you negative feedback
Ron Fnortner has left you negative feedback
Lisa Fnortner has left you negative feedback
Betsy Fnortner has left you negative feedback
Jayne Fnortner-Wise has left you negative feedback
Bill Fnortner has left you negative feedback
Bill Fnortner, Jr has left you negative feedback
Randy Fnortner has left you negative feedback
Jamie Fnortner-Cummings has left you negative feedback
Dawn Fnortner-Cummings has left you negative feedback
Brooklyn Fnortner-Cummings has left you negative feedback
Angela Cummings has left you negative feedback
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:20 AM on October 1, 2015 [21 favorites]




My favourite moment from their twitter feed so far. The parody feeds are not nearly as funny as these two:

Bullying IS WHAT YOU ARE DOING and that is what are app is NOT. You are the reason we have an app.
posted by frumiousb at 5:49 AM on October 1, 2015


According to their fb page, we can get the latest on their app concept by watching them on Good Morning America.
posted by rtha at 5:49 AM on October 1, 2015


Bullying IS WHAT YOU ARE DOING and that is what are app is NOT.


Hey, until you've been in the crosshairs of the Fnortner hate-mob, you don't get to tell me what bullying is or isn't.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:57 AM on October 1, 2015 [11 favorites]


I can't handle this, I'm at work and I just want to burst into flames from the irony...

As some one pointed out above, this is not only just a morally horrific idea, this is just a Bad Business Idea. They have no business model and their growth plan is unsolicited text messaging? I worked on a project that looked into solicited text messages and we rejected it because it wasn't viable as a marketing solution. It actually gets really expensive! So unless you have a real product to generate some ROI, it's a dumb strategy.

I would like to know who these VC's are. Who are these people with so much money to burn on marginally thought out ideas? This isn't a business idea. It's a drunk conversation between two women who had too many cosmos.
posted by like_neon at 6:03 AM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Someone should send a link to this thread to the VCs. Or post it on some forum that VCs read.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 6:08 AM on October 1, 2015


The stream of "sold shares in" events on this FB profile to a --- er --- questionably-experienced array of A-list advisers adds further fuel to the notion that this Probably Isn't Really A Thing.

This could be the next unicorn, people (er, peeple)!
posted by Nevin at 6:10 AM on October 1, 2015


Quite...
posted by Wordshore at 6:35 AM on October 1, 2015


I just want point out this phrase: "how you show up in this world." It's all over their writings. What the fuck does it even mean
posted by Existential Dread at 6:37 AM on October 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I just don't get the relentless Positive reviews only business. How on earth do you ensure that?

The only way is to have every single review actively moderated by a human (who would quickly go mad), so you need several working short shifts because as hard as moderating Metafilter must be at least it's threaded, conversational and not just a 100 character snippet of text again and again and again.

Computers can't do sentiment analysis.
Like case in point with this clown offering hugs right here.

Or are they thinking there is a tick box with positive or negative that users can tick, I'm not even going to bother describing that.

I mean technically the comment
"X has as far as I know never engaged in carnal relations with a goat and if they had they certainly didn't kill it afterwards!"
"X hasn't punched anyone this week!"
"X is one of the very best members of our murder gang!"
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:41 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


As this point, there's (at least) six possibilities, with some evidence/argument for each:

1. Performance art.
2. Elaborate long-running joke.
3. Started out serious, but turned into a joke to see how far it can stretch.
4. Started out serious, then realized it won't work and they are trying to hoover up as much funding as possible till it collapses.
5. Elaborate hoax to highlight online misogyny against women in tech.
6. Real, and they are defiantly carrying on.
posted by Wordshore at 6:43 AM on October 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


Hey, until you've been in the crosshairs of the Fnortner hate-mob, you don't get to tell me what bullying is or isn't.

If we've learned nothing else today, it's this: don't fuck with Ned Fnortner, or really anyone in the Fnortner clan. Vicious, vicious people.
posted by Cash4Lead at 6:45 AM on October 1, 2015 [11 favorites]


The vocal founder said on her Twitter feed that they sold all the shares in a 3 million dollar tranch. How? Who the hell is financing this? I want to know who is throwing money to make this happen, and what their game is.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:47 AM on October 1, 2015


Hey, until you've been in the crosshairs of the Fnortner hate-mob, you don't get to tell me what bullying is or isn't.

If we've learned nothing else today, it's this: don't fuck with Ned Frortner, or really anyone in the Frortner clan. Vicious, vicious people.

If there's one way to really upset both the Fnortner clan and the Frortner clan, it's to get them mixed up. They ain't been speaking since Grandpa Fnortner fell out with his brother J.R. Frortner I back in the day, and the latter was so pissed he slightly changed his name. That's bad blood, down the generations; don't need no fancy app to tell us so.
posted by Wordshore at 6:48 AM on October 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think it's between option 3 and 6 if they're going on Good Morning America now. That's a good opportunity for a couple of new outfits and a makeover.
posted by like_neon at 6:50 AM on October 1, 2015


I would like to know who these VC's are. Who are these people with so much money to burn on marginally thought out ideas?

I've worked in the traditional corporate business world for 10+ years and even though I am well aware of how incredibly short-sighted and (for lack of a better word) dumb people can be when they really want to push a bad idea through, it still almost always surprises me when I see this kind of willful blindness in the wild. I'm guessing that the founders and their backers are looking at all the criticism they're getting and instead of really taking what literally thousands of people are saying on board, they're thinking that people don't fully understand the concept (sign up for the beta!) and/or that people are jealous/hate success/hate trailblazers. Mixed in with that is probably a bunch of pats on the back for the boatload of publicity they're getting and platitudes about how people will eventually come around, along with wildly inappropriate comparisons to people like MLK Jr., Helen Keller or similar. It's always so jarring to me how people can literally ignore everything that's telling them something is a bad idea and cling to a singular idea that is for all intents and purposes a fantasy. I don't understand this mindset.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:53 AM on October 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


Terrible idea. Reminds me of 2007's (also terrible) flash in the pan rottenneighbors.com (wiki, lifehacker).
posted by audi alteram partem at 6:56 AM on October 1, 2015


From this time last year, weren't we all supposed to be on Ello by now, anyway? Or even tilde club?

Finally remembers to log back into GeoCities. It's been a while.

Nooooooooooooooo...
posted by Wordshore at 7:00 AM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't understand this mindset.

It's coming from accepting the philosophy that success is essentially an act of the Will.
posted by thelonius at 7:04 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]




It's always so jarring to me how people can literally ignore everything that's telling them something is a bad idea and cling to a singular idea that is for all intents and purposes a fantasy. I don't understand this mindset.

This is basically the founding principle of entrepreneurship isn't it? I mean that and the fact that people will be wanting to give you money hand over fist for your bad idea.
posted by griphus at 7:18 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I feel like Facebook may really be the nail in the coffin for them. If I'm dead sure I don't want to have a profile on Peeple and I don't want anyone to create one for me, it seems like the best thing to do is delete my Facebook profile. I imagine there's not a small number of people who would do the same thing. Not that Facebook has a great track record with regards to enacting policies that make some of their member ship leave, but I feel like this may cross the threshold of where the number leaving constitutes a problem for them.
posted by LionIndex at 7:24 AM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]




Yelp reviews are 79% positive, therefore humanity as a whole is innately good. That this thought process exists makes me feel like Jonathan Franzen.
posted by sonmi at 7:27 AM on October 1, 2015 [12 favorites]


Also, I'd avoid the #Peeple hashtag on twitter, someone is spamming it with potentially triggery anti-choice images.
posted by sonmi at 7:29 AM on October 1, 2015


Also, I'd avoid the #Peeple hashtag on twitter, someone is spamming it with potentially triggery anti-choice images.

So far I'd say this app is doing an absolutely spiffing job of bringing out the best in people.
posted by duffell at 7:33 AM on October 1, 2015 [17 favorites]


Terrible idea. Reminds me of 2007's (also terrible) flash in the pan rottenneighbors.com
RipoffReport has cornered the market on weird, angry rants about neighbors.
posted by soelo at 7:41 AM on October 1, 2015


Who are these people with so much money to burn on marginally thought out ideas?

I don't think it's established as fact that they've raised any money, has it? Anyone who raises a decent amount at this stage from VC tends not to disclose the amount because it affects hiring and other business issues, and the VCs don't like it.
posted by colie at 7:44 AM on October 1, 2015


About relying on Facebook.
posted by Wordshore at 7:48 AM on October 1, 2015


Metafilter: Where everybody universally realizes the absolutely terrible nature of an idea, and comes together as a community to take a huge righteous dump on it.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:52 AM on October 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I deleted my Facebook account a month ago, so yay for me.
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:54 AM on October 1, 2015


The Verge: Peeple has already been valued at $7.6 million, while a video blog that Cordray and McCullough used to document Peeple's creation reveals that they raised $250,000 in seed capital in just two weeks.

Silicon valley venture capitalists have become so divorced from reality that they truly have no understanding of human behavior in the real world. And so the cluelessness bubble expands.
posted by duffell at 7:58 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


LionIndex: "If I'm dead sure I don't want to have a profile on Peeple and I don't want anyone to create one for me, it seems like the best thing to do is delete my Facebook profile."

But I thought to create your profile, all I need is your cell phone number? (Or a cell phone number that I claim is yours, as far as Peeple will know.) I'm the one who needs a Facebook profile, as iron-clad proof that I'm doing so under my real name.
posted by RobotHero at 8:01 AM on October 1, 2015


Silicon valley venture capitalists

I think most of the funding has come from Calgary. A lot of this money would have been invested in the oil sands and energy-related projects in the past. Can't do that now because of the slump in oil prices, so investors who like sexy-sounding "tech plays" are looking at perceived opportunities outside their area of expertise.
posted by Nevin at 8:08 AM on October 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I just want point out this phrase: "how you show up in this world." It's all over their writings. What the fuck does it even mean
posted by Existential Dread


Eponysterical! No seriously, you don't exist outside your computer. If you are not being rated/reviewed/assessed on an app you are not of this world and I will have no truck with you. I only date/fawn over/laugh at/like/favorite peeps with a 4 star rating or above.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:10 AM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]



Yelp reviews are 79% positive, therefore humanity as a whole is innately good.


Maybe it means humanity is innately good ... at running restaurants!
posted by aubilenon at 8:30 AM on October 1, 2015 [12 favorites]




Well, you don't see toucans running restaurants. Therefore, humanity is innately good. Or at least innately better than toucans.
posted by frimble at 8:34 AM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


According to their facebook page, the lurkers support them in email.
posted by jeather at 8:54 AM on October 1, 2015 [12 favorites]


VERY REAL emails from business people who are WAY more important and connected than all you losers.
posted by sonmi at 8:57 AM on October 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


Emails from ★★★★★ types, not ★☆☆☆☆ types.
posted by frimble at 9:00 AM on October 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


BBC News now have a news article on it:

Peeple co-founder Julia Cordray told the BBC: "With any new concept there is naturally fear. When the people found out that the Earth was round instead of flat and that we revolved around the Sun instead of the Sun revolving around us, naturally people were upset and confused and they pushed back with all that they had."
posted by Wordshore at 9:03 AM on October 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


That seems a little grandiose. As bad an idea as I think this is, the idea isn't on par with discovering some of the fundamental laws of the universe.

And people are pushing back with what appear to be some pretty rational arguments from where I'm sitting.
posted by nubs at 9:06 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


My brain can't handle this. I am seriously wondering if this is some weird viral ad or performance art? Is she person? Or is she dancer? I v confused now.
posted by like_neon at 9:07 AM on October 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


6. Real, and they are defiantly carrying on.

I've been thinking about their business model prospects, which are probably quite different from this PR fiasco.

My guess: the founders want to monetize people's reputations for HR departments/recruiters/lenders/insurers and other types of hiring and credit folks. They would amass a social network database that they would datamine and sell to these types of customers. They probably even did some decent customer outreach to see if there would be interest in such a database. Hence the no-opt-out policy, the "anyone can sign you up and review you" policy, the limited recourse for a bad review, etc.

However, they completely failed to consider the reaction of their "product," i.e. the users their app would ostensibly serve but in reality sell. And now they are scrambling to manage the massive negative reaction of their product by throwing out poorly thought out fixes and policy changes that make little sense in order to see what sticks.

I don't doubt that investors are interested in the prospects of a massive database of people evaluating one another for hireability and credit-worthiness; there is a very attractive potential income stream there. But these clueless folks have gone about it so poorly that I hope the idea is rendered completely toxic from here on.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:09 AM on October 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


Peeple co-founder Julia Cordray told the BBC: "With any new concept there is naturally fear. When the people found out that the Earth was round instead of flat and that we revolved around the Sun instead of the Sun revolving around us, naturally people were upset and confused and they pushed back with all that they had."

okay so the entire thing is obviously a joke then, yes? because no human being could possibly be such a hilarribly cliched egomaniac. right? I MEAN SURELY.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:12 AM on October 1, 2015 [20 favorites]


When you read an interview where they compare themselves to ... Copernicus?!! ... no, this cannot be real. Art, joke or hoax.
posted by Wordshore at 9:12 AM on October 1, 2015 [10 favorites]


oh but i guess the existence of donald trump disproves that theory
posted by poffin boffin at 9:12 AM on October 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


They've admitted that they intend to open the API for businesses to look at to make hiring decisions, yes.
posted by jeather at 9:16 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


The related articles under that BBC article are... astute:

Online reviews 'used as blackmail'
19 June 2015
Video Fake online customer reviews 'for sale', BBC finds
18 June 2015
Navigating the potentially murky world of online reviews
23 June 2015
Cyberbullying 'on rise' - ChildLine
8 January 2014
posted by like_neon at 9:17 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


because no human being could possibly be such a hilarribly cliched egomaniac. right? I MEAN SURELY.

Julia Cordray, Secretary of the Department of Rating People under President Trump.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:19 AM on October 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


Julia Cordray told the BBC: "With any new concept there is naturally fear. When the people found out that the Earth was round instead of flat and that we revolved around the Sun instead of the Sun revolving around us, naturally people were upset and confused and they pushed back with all that they had."


With apologies to the Indigo Girls:

"Julia Cordray's head was on the block // her crime was publishing too much truth // and as the bombshells in her twitter feed explode // she pulled some science from her youth"
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:20 AM on October 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Starting to draft a few reviews.

scarabic ★★★★★ Most knowledgeable advisor on disposal of the body after the "incident" ever!
posted by Wordshore at 9:22 AM on October 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


They remind me of Dr. Drew Baird on 30 Rock, aka Jon Hamm, aka no one ever told him how stupid he was because he was pretty.

Someone on their FB pointed out that as two rich, white, thin women, they have astronomical amounts of privilege that have allowed them to live in a fantasy world where people are nice and this idea is awesome instead of dangerously terrible. They've been playing life on easy mode, and the internet is now taking the opportunity to tell them that real life is basically Battletoads.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:25 AM on October 1, 2015 [22 favorites]


I'm thinking pony request here.

Mefi rankings on the profile page, where we can all rank each other and leave comments based on what kind of contact they are -- we should be able to see our average rating and also the average rating given, and then some other meaningless numbers for science look. You can have longer or shorter cooldown periods for FPPs/asks/metas based on your rank. Then maybe we can have Meta Flameout Week, where ONLY people with low rankings are allowed to post.
posted by jeather at 9:31 AM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: basically Battletoads.


sorry, I had too. I'll never do it again I promise
posted by Existential Dread at 9:32 AM on October 1, 2015 [10 favorites]


My guess: the founders want to monetize people's reputations for HR departments/recruiters/lenders/insurers and other types of hiring and credit folks.

They've admitted that they intend to open the API for businesses to look at to make hiring decisions, yes.



Then they really need to speak to a law-talking-guy. If a Canadian HR department were to look at anything that might, say, reveal something like the marital status, specific ethnicity, housing status, sexual orientation, or gender identity of a candidate, it could potentially put them in violation of federal or provincial anti-discrimination legislation. Again, people would be lining up to sue.


I am literally eating a sandwich with glee.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:58 AM on October 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


i also wish to order a glee sandwich
posted by murphy slaw at 10:02 AM on October 1, 2015 [11 favorites]


wouldn't that just be ryan murphy between two slices of bread labelled RACISM and MISOGYNY
posted by poffin boffin at 10:05 AM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


...real life is basically Battletoads.

And Twitter is the big, blinking pink wall of plasm appearing from nowhere.
posted by griphus at 10:07 AM on October 1, 2015


> I deleted my Facebook account a month ago, so yay for me.

No, it means that you'll have to re-open your Facebook account if you want to start swatting down posts about you on Peeple.
posted by ardgedee at 10:10 AM on October 1, 2015


If this company gets sufficient funding and development to exist as a real website and app for a while, don't be too quick to open that bottle of schadenfreude when it finally folds because that means its assets will be sold off. The only asset likely to garner any substantial bids will be the data.
posted by ardgedee at 10:11 AM on October 1, 2015


Cortex ★☆☆☆☆ Unsociable; never answers the door. All that can be heard is a constant clicking sound and muffled muttering of "... cannot ... stop ..."
posted by Wordshore at 10:18 AM on October 1, 2015


Someone on their FB pointed out that as two rich, white, thin women, they have astronomical amounts of privilege that have allowed them to live in a fantasy world where people are nice and this idea is awesome instead of dangerously terrible.

Except that no, they don't. Rich, white, thin women regularly encounter people who are not nice. They are not immune. Feigned naivete is a very common affectation, though. "I only see the GOOD in the world around me!" as though that confers goodness onto them. In this case, though, they're probably just talking like that because they're dug themselves in pretty deep with a shitty idea they didn't think through in the first place.

The biggest mistake they've made is proposing to do this all at once, rather than doing a slow creep.

Here is how you could get away with it:

Acquire aggregated data from existing datamining operations that collect publicly available and predictive tools to build profiles on individuals. That data is already out there, so just buy it and reformat it.

Write some sort of Facebook app that allows users to claim their own profiles, and give them a tool for 'correcting' inaccuracies. Those profiles are pretty sloppy sometimes, so if you let people see their own and give them some simple way to see and update them, a whole lot of them will probably bite.

SLOWLY, not right away, but later on, after you have a userbase, add some sort of feature that allows others in the user's contact circles to 'vouch' for them or something. Cast it as a way to leverage your social capital to your benefit.

Then you creep in with more finely tuned 'vouch' features, providing more fine grained ratings and adding categories in which to rate others.

But you have to make it an explicitly opt-in service, and tell people they don't have to participate if they don't want to. If it gets widespread enough, it becomes sort of de facto mandatory, just like Facebook. Employers could then require candidates to have a profile, and regular users, who've bought into the system, will advance the notion that there's something fishy about people who don't use it.

And at that point, the service can be scraping users' contacts, datamining, building shadow profiles, etc., with little if any oversight, and critics will be blown off as paranoid weirdos.
posted by ernielundquist at 10:20 AM on October 1, 2015 [11 favorites]


The only asset likely to garner any substantial bids will be the data.

In this dystopian future we live in, we have discovered that we are not Solyent Green. We are Data Points* to be ground up and fed to corporations.

*"Data Points" subject to name change; currently undergoing focus group testing for alternatives.
posted by nubs at 10:21 AM on October 1, 2015


Wordshore ★★★☆☆ Unkempt. A disappointment to all those who encounter him. Only refers to himself in the third person.
posted by Wordshore at 10:28 AM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Roast Beef: ★☆☆☆☆. The guy who sucks. Plus he's got depression.
posted by Existential Dread at 10:32 AM on October 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


Except that no, they don't. Rich, white, thin women regularly encounter people who are not nice. They are not immune.

Not immune, but always able to avoid/ignore/silence it until now. The person who made that comment on their page was pointing out that you would have to live a fairly safe/sheltered existence to think "great idea!" instead of "likely to get people murdered!"

Trans people don't get to be that sheltered. POC don't get to be that sheltered. Poor people don't get to be that sheltered. Fat people don't get to be that sheltered. Anyone who is regularly attacked/mocked/hurt for being Other knows immediately that this is a horrible idea.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:33 AM on October 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


From way upthread somewhere: I just want point out this phrase: "how you show up in this world." It's all over their writings. What the fuck does it even mean

It's a phrase that smacks of the current self-esteem culture. Like, be a "postitive person" and everything will go your way.

Honestly between that, and the overblown rhetoric about how people are "fearing" them because they're so bold and new, It would not surprise me one bit to discover they've been involved with The Landmark Forum, which is how the guy who started Lululemon also ended up causing serious backlash by spouting some serious bullshit.
posted by dnash at 10:33 AM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


[redacted] ★★★★★ Kind and unbiased and fair moderator of The MetaFilter. Except when deleting my REASONABLE post about whether cat declawing is best done in Israel or Palestine. Then it's ★☆☆☆☆.
posted by Wordshore at 10:47 AM on October 1, 2015


Tim Berners-Lee ★☆☆☆☆ Farts around online all day instead of helping build the particle accelerator. Produces nothing; waste of space. #CERN
posted by Wordshore at 10:55 AM on October 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


I love that megalomaniacal Copernican analogy. It would actually be quite accurate if, instead of just arguing that the Earth revolved around the Sun, Copernicus had proposed that the Earth be hurled into the Sun.
posted by No-sword at 10:56 AM on October 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


coldchef ★☆☆☆☆ would not listen to my proposal about reanimation, was v pushy about interment. also several times sent me filthy text messages late at night.
posted by komara at 11:00 AM on October 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


Scott ★☆☆☆☆ Failed to become president. Failed to even become the candidate to become president. Now who's going to build the wall to keep all the Canadians out, Scott?
posted by Wordshore at 11:07 AM on October 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


You know, I could forgive all of this if Cordray would start posting lyrics from The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown on her Facebook page.

I AM THE GOD OF HELLFIRE AND I BRING YOU ... PEEPLE ...!!!
posted by octobersurprise at 11:07 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not immune, but always able to avoid/ignore/silence it until now. The person who made that comment on their page was pointing out that you would have to live a fairly safe/sheltered existence to think "great idea!" instead of "likely to get people murdered!"

My point is that they have no excuse for not predicting that, and I do not personally believe they didn't predict it. They have not been blissfully unaware. They are disingenuously adopting a just world philosophy in promoting their product that they know is false, and just world philosophies underpin many of the most toxic things about human culture.

The vast majority of adults who act oblivious and naive like that are full of shit. There is no excuse for that sort of ignorance. I doubt there is more than a handful of adults in the world who are THAT sheltered. It's not charming, it's not admirable, and it does not make them good people to only see the good in the world around them. It just makes them stupid at best and malicious at worst.
posted by ernielundquist at 11:13 AM on October 1, 2015 [12 favorites]


They have a dumb idea, they are very energetic about promoting it, they present well (in the context of the Calgary lizard-lawyers who are their angel investors), they got lift from some unsophisticated investors, and a lot of negative but viral publicity from the earned media in the Metro News the other day.

This will burn out far before their proposed launch date of November 15.
posted by Nevin at 11:29 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


"How you show up in the world" looks like one of those phrases that's generally flitted around the self-improvement/entrepreneurship blogosphere for the last few years, as in here and here. It doesn't seem to be derived from any particular cult or quasi-cultish movement or MLM as far as I can tell.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:30 AM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think they should change the name to more accurately reflect the nature of the app.

How does "Creeple" sound? Or, since apps should end in "r", how about "Creepr"?
posted by happyroach at 11:44 AM on October 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


Clusterfuckr.
posted by duffell at 11:57 AM on October 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


Kris Straub nails it again.
posted by duffell at 11:59 AM on October 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


Wordshore: "Cortex ★☆☆☆☆ Unsociable; never answers the door. All that can be heard is a constant clicking sound and muffled muttering of "... cannot ... stop ...""

Cortex ★☆☆☆☆ Plumstealing jerk.

Oh, got a Facebook comment deleted for asking what do I do if I don't have a device to run their app. So, all about the positivist feedback eh?
posted by Samizdata at 12:13 PM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Today in Screenshots of Deleted Comments
posted by triggerfinger at 12:29 PM on October 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


Yelp just tweeted: #Peeple is NOT affiliated with Yelp. Much like the Facebook privacy statuses and Big Foot, this is a myth. #TheMoreYouKnow

Man, you know between Yelp and Facebook, and the Austin guys who have a security project named Peeple, there are some attorneys racking some billable hours today.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 12:40 PM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Today in Screenshots of Deleted Comments

Is this real? I initially thought it was too on the nose to be real, but this person is aggressively tone deaf.
posted by almostmanda at 12:49 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh the Yelp social media manager is one savvy mf, seriously.

On another note,
Someone on their FB pointed out that as two rich, white, thin women, they have astronomical amounts of privilege that have allowed them to live in a fantasy world where people are nice and this idea is awesome instead of dangerously terrible.

Maybe, or maybe they’re just stupid? Or even "stupid at best and malicious at worst", like ernielundquist says.
Does it matter that they’re women and white and thin (?! seriously)? Do identity politics need to be brought into everything? Even when the most obvious explanation - they’re full of shit - is staring us in the face?
Sure the whole bubbly blonde with money thing fits into a nice stereotype and as someone said above I too wish it wasn’t women because women in tech don’t need this shit, but the reason they don’t need it is because it’s too easy to attribute the stupidity/maliciousness under a cloak of bubbliness to their being female, if it was a pair of guys we’d just call them assholes and be done with it. It’s not like their behaviour and their response to negative comments is a prerogative of any gender or race or even nationality, I can assure you...
posted by bitteschoen at 1:01 PM on October 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


To be fair, privilege is enabled by stupidity. It's not the only form of advantage-blindness, but it is a major one.
posted by bonehead at 1:10 PM on October 1, 2015


bitteschoen: "Does it matter that they’re women and white and thin"

I think it matters in the same way it matters when people who have never been _poor_ start beaking off about the experience of being poor; something they, obviously from their words, know nothing about. If privilege has insulated the founders from the icky parts of the internet (or worse they have always been the queen bees) their expectations of their product might be unrealistic.

Or maybe they are just win at all costs MBA types who just don't empathize with the harm as long as they succeed.
posted by Mitheral at 1:28 PM on October 1, 2015


Wow, there is a whole set of "documentary" videos on YouTube (as mmoncur mentioned) which include this choice quote:

"If you are a bad person, you will just hide from our app."

Let that sink in.
posted by grumpybear69 at 1:41 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, and man, I just watched the video and see that they live in my old neighborhood of North Beach. That makes me very, very sad.
posted by grumpybear69 at 1:47 PM on October 1, 2015


If you are a bad person, you will just hide from our app.

Bad person = hides from our app

Hides from our app = bad person

If you hide from our app, you are a bad person.
posted by duffell at 1:49 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


duffell: "If you are a bad person, you will just hide from our app.

Bad person = hides from our app

Hides from our app = bad person

If you hide from our app, you are a bad person.
"

If you give me six ratings written in your app, I will find something in them which will hang the most honest of men.
posted by Samizdata at 1:52 PM on October 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


nubs ★☆☆☆☆ Unremarkable. Unaccomplished. Thinks he's funnier than he is. Over-explains jokes. Not insightful or profound or really interesting in any way. Feckless. A B-lister's B-lister.


I figure if I do my own, no one else will have any room to make it worse.
posted by nubs at 2:00 PM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Seems like a publicity stunt, given the "documentary webisodes" and the rest of the hilariously bad website. Here's her other website for a scammy "recruiting agency" complete with a picture of her ad-wrapped car. The whois registration for both businesses is a residential address. She's probably a washed-up real estate agent, honestly.
posted by junco at 2:11 PM on October 1, 2015


prize bull octorok ★☆☆☆☆ ATTEMPTED TO HIDE FROM THE BALEFUL EYE OF PEEPLE. WHAT WICKED SECRETS FESTER IN YOUR MALIGN HEART THAT YOU WOULD ATTEMPT TO CONCEAL YOURSELF FROM WE WHO ARBITRATE THE GOOD AND THE POSITIVE, PRIZE BULL OCTOROK? THERE IS NO HIDING PLACE FROM THE RECKONING OF PEEPLE makes good stir-fry though, would give 1/2☆ for that but ratings system does not allow for half-stars
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:17 PM on October 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


poffin boffin ★★★★★ doffin? or foffin? roffin when goffin. Sometimes toffin, when not moffin, or heavily qoffin. Never noffin :) and comments oft cause loffin. Not a coffin :(
posted by Wordshore at 2:24 PM on October 1, 2015


quidnunc kid ★☆☆☆☆ would not vote #1 again
posted by komara at 2:39 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I figure if I do my own, no one else will have any room to make it worse.

Shit, I been doing that for years.
posted by PMdixon at 2:41 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


The whole attacking people who express concerns and deleting comments thing reminds me of nothing so much as the Amy's Baking Company meltdown with Gordon Ramsey.
posted by Tknophobia at 2:41 PM on October 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


484 comments and nobody has said "this will not wendell"?

okay,

This Will Not Wendell ★★★★★

I'm already a bad person, not having a Farcebook account, so I won't hide from their app, I'll just ignore it.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:11 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, an app created by two women has become the target of the Internet's hatred? You don't say...
posted by DrAmerica at 3:30 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Someone on their FB pointed out that as two rich, white, thin women, they have astronomical amounts of privilege that have allowed them to live in a fantasy world where people are nice and this idea is awesome instead of dangerously terrible. They've been playing life on easy mode"

Being a woman is not playing on easy mode. We've been over this.
posted by DrAmerica at 3:43 PM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think we've established that this isn't about the gender of the founders...
posted by mmoncur at 3:43 PM on October 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


No, I feel the Copernicus analogy. Like when I brought up at the office the other day that the best way we could deal with invoicing was to use carrier pigeons with little QR codes taped to their ankles that fly to and from clients, I was met with derision at best. And I was like, hey guys, come on. Do you really want to be like those morons who thought the world was flat and the sun was a flaming chariot being dragged across the sky? Can you even comprehend how stupid you're all going to look 1,000 years from now when children read about you in history class? It's like no one has any forward thinking anymore, probably because they lack positivity and the ability to see the best in people. The worst part is it's going to take me all weekend to take apart the coop, because apparently it "crowds the break room" and is "a health hazard" that could make people "very sick". Haters. #bethechange #showingupintheworld
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:07 PM on October 1, 2015 [23 favorites]


DrAmerica: "Oh, an app created by two women has become the target of the Internet's hatred? You don't say..."

Yeah, I mean that's why I hate the idea. Pure misogyny. I think it's fair to assume that all the rest of the MeFites in this 489 comment thread feel the same way. We all think it's an awesome app concept, but we all hate women so much here that we're pretending to hate the concept.

Bugbread ★★☆☆☆ Uses sarcasm too much. Would have given him only one star, but he consistently votes #1 quidnunc kid, so two stars.
posted by Bugbread at 4:36 PM on October 1, 2015 [21 favorites]


WWMEWD? What would my ex wife do?
posted by thebestusernameever at 4:36 PM on October 1, 2015


Being a woman is not playing on easy mode. We've been over this.

Privilege is intersectional. We've been over that, too.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:49 PM on October 1, 2015 [14 favorites]


“Peeple Bleater,” Kim LaCapria, Snopes, 01 October 2015
Any and all “work” on the app was primarily documented via YouTube video before September 2015, most attempts to discern whether or how the app worked were met with vague answers about “beta testing” in November 2015. No details were released about the app’s technical specs — again, its invasive nature sparked so much debate that the story reached viral mass almost instantly with no corroborating information provided. Which is not to say Peeple isn’t going to hit the app store in November, it simply hasn’t been in production very long at all (if it is not a hoax) and its founders appear to have cobbled together a PR campaign in a matter of weeks with no detail backing it up.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:04 PM on October 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


Privilege might explain why someone wouldn't think of the possible downsides of something like this independently at first glance, but it does not explain why they would have never predicted the objections after thinking it through, why didn't do some basic market research, and why they didn't even just look around on the internet for about five minutes and see how various other 'person rating' systems have fared.

It is 2015. I don't give a shit how sheltered and privileged you are. It is incredibly obvious to anyone with any familiarity with the tech industry, especially social networking, that something like this would be a really really bad idea. If they had any professional experience or knowledge, they'd know that something like this would not fly.

That's not privilege. That's willful ignorance. It's stupidity. It's being really really bad at your job, on both their and their investors' parts. So bad, in fact, that I initially assumed it was a hoax of some sort, but even as a hoax, it's pretty much balloon boy levels of stupid.
posted by ernielundquist at 5:31 PM on October 1, 2015 [12 favorites]


It could at the same time be true that their privilege enables their willful ignorance; it certainly hasn't been examined at all as a viable app, but privilege tends to lower the expectation of failure, which can lead to that kind of sloppiness. But if it's a performance art piece then bravo because it's perfect.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:38 PM on October 1, 2015


Wired covers the reaction of the other startup which was called Peeple as they get splashed in the fallout of this mess.
posted by frumiousb at 5:40 PM on October 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


That's not privilege. That's willful ignorance. It's stupidity. It's being really really bad at your job, on both their and their investors' parts.

e) All of the above.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:42 PM on October 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


RE: Copernicus --
"But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown." -- Carl Sagan
posted by mmoncur at 5:42 PM on October 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


But if it's a performance art piece then bravo because it's perfect.

I really really hope this is true, because it would be awesome if it was performance art. Unfortunately, Snopes seems to be leaning toward it being some kind of crappy attempt to get themselves a reality tv show. That is not awesome.
posted by frumiousb at 5:43 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now that there's a parody account that looks exactly like their real account, we're at the point where there is something online that is actively hurting Peeple's reputation, and they have no control over it. Which is pretty much their entire app in a nutshell. I predict they pull the plans for this by the end of the week.

Account suspended.

http://sadtrombone.com/
posted by Evilspork at 5:43 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Man the Wired link frumiousb posted is sick. Peeple, the door peephole camera that transmits to your phone, just won some huge competition at the same time this shit burst into flames. The actual hardware thing sounds so cool, too. But the app people don't have but a suspended trademark in Canada, while the hardware is in fact registered. Goodbye VC on the wings of litigation.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:47 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Although it seems the trademark thing is more complicated than that, there has got to be some kind of damages from this surely?
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:49 PM on October 1, 2015


It looks like they may have a case, based on the article. But it won't be easy or cheap to fight it out.
posted by frumiousb at 5:51 PM on October 1, 2015


Yeah, that's the thing, these Austin guys are not likely to have resources to fight a cross border trade war unless some serious talent steps up pro bono.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:00 PM on October 1, 2015


"Oh, an app created by two women has become the target of the Internet's hatred? You don't say..."

What does this comment mean?
posted by I-baLL at 6:04 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


It means it's a derail, trying to throw misogyny shade where there is none. Why someone would do that, given the sheer volume of women who have clearly said why this app is dangerous to women, I do not know. Unless it's just to try to deflect attention away from the train wreck that is two "entrepreneurs" who have hijacked another brand's name and set the interwebs on fire.

That they are women is irrelevant. That they are idiots without the ability to use google, or common sense, or have any human decency, is the real barn burner here.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:15 PM on October 1, 2015 [14 favorites]


Peeple-the-thing may be a good example of unwanted publicity eventually being good for them (especially if he manages to get Chrissy Teigan to retweet him to correct her earlier error), because, publicity . Plus, it looks like the founder is being pretty cool about it. Quote:

He says one silver lining (if you can call it that) is that he’s been given an interesting Twitter demographic breakdown of who exactly is angry at the Peeple app (he’s getting about 1,000 notifications an hour). “The LGBT and trans communities are going nuts against these people,” he says. “Which, it makes sense—a lot of people who are already experiencing oppression and bullying don’t want an app like this.”

It appears as though he came to that conclusion with pretty much zero reflection because OF COURSE IT MAKES SENSE. Which is why the ongoing cluelessness of the founders is so totally bizarre. And when adding in their considerable efforts to delete negative or critical comments/twitter accounts, etc., that's when you realize we've actually crossed the line into full-blown Bizarro World.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:26 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just an aside as per earlier conversations - Have I said word one about gender or race or anything else other than what a mindnumbingly stupid concept this is?
posted by Samizdata at 6:40 PM on October 1, 2015


Not that I've noticed Samizdata, I-ball and I were commenting on DrAmerica dropping in to leave a poople in the peeple thread.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:58 PM on October 1, 2015


SecretAgentSockpuppet: "Not that I've noticed Samizdata, I-ball and I were commenting on DrAmerica dropping in to leave a poople in the peeple thread."

Just checking. I've been getting a lot of the wrong brush tarring lately, and I really don't want to think of adding paranoia to my grab bag of eccentricities.

Cheers!
posted by Samizdata at 7:11 PM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


So just dropping in after reading the Snopes article - it sounds like the app might not even be in development yet, and won't appear on Nov. 1 or possibly at all? And how did these two get VC funding for something which wasn't conceived until late August - early September? How much of what they've said is outright lies?

Jesus. Shit got weirder.
posted by naju at 7:20 PM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


They must have something because in one of the photos one of the women is holding up a phone with, I'd assumed, a working beta version of the app displayed.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 7:23 PM on October 1, 2015


I'm watching some of those reality webisodes and it's all seeming like a hoax to me now. I'm not sure we can actually trust anything they say...
posted by naju at 7:39 PM on October 1, 2015


The only reason I'm not leaning toward hoax is that I've met some of these "serial entrepreneur" types, and the Peeple people fit the pattern. The attitude is that "A great idea is all you need, and you can even change ideas halfway through if you need to", and the marketing and "buzz" is considered far more important than the app itself -- "Any decent coder could knock that out in two days, we just need to get some buzz and the app will basically write itself."

So it's entirely possible that they are 100% sincere and yet haven't started on an app at all.

(And the focus on "the App" just shows how little they know anyway, since any developer would tell you the web-based backend is going to be the difficult thing to code, and the app(s) are just simple clients that work with that.)

The "VC Funding" is probably just a couple of friends and relatives kicking in 250K, and the 7 million dollar valuation is just someone assuming that the 250K was for 5% of the company, like they do on Shark Tank...

Usually you don't even hear about these entrepreneurial wild-eyed notions until someone invests big in them, but in this case the sheer evil of the idea got them tons of publicity way earlier.

There won't be an app in November, and when the app does finally show up they will have pivoted 5 times and now it's an app to help people order pizza during football games or something.
posted by mmoncur at 7:54 PM on October 1, 2015 [10 favorites]


It's super easy to mockup an interface in Illustrator. You don't need a "real" app to "show it" as long as nobody has to interact with it. That said; I'm a technical writer, and not really a coder, and I knocked out an "app" front end in a day seminar about building stuff for android, so you could probably even knock together an "working" version, for a given value of working. Well, you could.

I'm not sure either of them could. Or their characters. I'm really beginning to buy into the concept that this whole thing is some weird performance thing.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:58 PM on October 1, 2015


Were they on "Good Morning America"? That was supposed to be this morning according to their Facebook post, but I don't think it happened, unless there's some small Canadian "Good Morning America" I haven't found.

This makes me lean toward hoax a bit more, considering that ABC news has an article calling it the stuff nightmares are made of, I seriously doubt they would schedule them for a softball interview...
posted by mmoncur at 8:07 PM on October 1, 2015


Quote:

He says one silver lining (if you can call it that) is that he’s been given an interesting Twitter demographic breakdown of who exactly is angry at the Peeple app (he’s getting about 1,000 notifications an hour). “The LGBT and trans communities are going nuts against these people,” he says. “Which, it makes sense—a lot of people who are already experiencing oppression and bullying don’t want an app like this.”


Ohh they changed that bit in the Wired article, now it says

That doesn’t mean Chuter isn’t without sympathy for the founders of the app, Julia Cordray and Nicole McCullough—in part because he’s getting a lot of irate tweets meant for them. “I feel bad for them. I can’t imagine what this is like, I’m only seeing a percentage of it.” It’s been an interesting glimpse. “The LGBT and trans communities are going nuts against these people,” he says. “Which, it makes sense—a lot of people who are already experiencing oppression and bullying don’t want an app like this.”

I guess especially in view of having a case for their brand being damaged, or even for obvious reasons of image, they didn’t want the article to include a reference to an advantage for them in all this, so they asked to redact that bit, which is only fair really because what kind of "advantage" was that anyway, insight into people being pissed off on Twitter? it won’t have anything to do with their ow product. And their product does sound cool. Too bad they’re saying "we’re not changing our name" - I think their twitter handle peephome sounds a lot better and clearer on the nature of their hardware product than the now infamous (and inherently horrible) "peeple".
posted by bitteschoen at 8:32 PM on October 1, 2015


Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane: "Although it seems the trademark thing is more complicated than that, there has got to be some kind of damages from this surely?"

Yes, trademarks aren't blanket, they apply to specific areas. Which is why, for example, Ford is the trademark of both a car company and a modelling agency. Splitting those areas up is usually the purview of courts and so expensive. In the case with two people claiming a trademark in overlapping areas usually the deeper pockets win. In this case though neither side has the money (yet anyways) so hard to say what will happen if push comes to shove. Usually if there is confusion one side will change their name just to end the confusion.
posted by Mitheral at 8:32 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have never missed Fucked Company as much as I do right now.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:31 PM on October 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Any decent coder could knock that out in two days, we just need to get some buzz and the app will basically write itself."

So, am I understanding this correctly?

1. Come up with half-baked idea for new app.
2. Get your relatives to kick in a little cash for marketing purposes.
3. Put some bare-bones thing together.
4. Have other people basically develop upon and build your idea for free with "beta testing".
4. Profit!
posted by triggerfinger at 9:57 PM on October 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


So these people obviously don't understand the internet, or humans, but I think there's the kernel of a good idea in there.

Everyone in my office travels a lot, and there's constant competition over everything. Frequent flier miles, Medallion status, seat upgrades, Uber ratings, Air BNB reviews, rental car assignments... People like being rated on things they do, not on who they are. Find a way to make something like this a game without public or permanent consequences, and you're on to something.

But mostly human beings are living versions of this app already. My dad and his retired neighbor squad don't need an app to stand around the mailbox and murmur disapprovingly about the house on the block that's let their lawn get a little out of control. They're already perfect at that.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:14 PM on October 1, 2015


triggerfiner: Exactly right, except that step 5 is actually "Fail!".
posted by mmoncur at 12:50 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


6. Real, and they are defiantly carrying on.

I will happily look like a complete fucking buffoon if this isn't true.

I've WORKED for someone this cocky and full of themselves, who would quote stuff like the stupid Copernicus thing above.

They were in fact, once so sure of themselves that they insisted i followed their instructions, while they watched, to the T, and... drilled a hole in my hand.

It was worth it, since they were so charismatic that everyone else working there was convinced i must be the problem for saying they were a fucking doofus.

It's blown my mind, many times in my life how far really cocky people like this can get. Just being loud, "in charge", charismatic, and knowing just enough to do moderately decent work you can basically become president of your local pond. And how big that pond is depends on how good you are at the last part sort of, but mostly how lucky you get or how many smart people you can tow along with you.

It's very likely one or both of them have plowed ahead with quite a bit of success at smaller and more local projects or businesses just on gumption and pretty much, betting it all on black and spinning the wheel and not getting discouraged when they fail.

Most ostensibly successful small business owners i've known were semi clueless, and really cocky. The thing is most of them are kind of invested in the concept and cachet of being a cool small business owner so you don't hear about them online(barring "this guy is making the best $WEIRDKINDOFCOFFEE in america!") sort of writeups).

Then occasionally one tries to take it to the big leagues and well, you see exactly this.

It's not just me. Almost everyone i know has worked for some asshole like this. Almost all of them have heard some kind of "But we can do this obviously stupid thing and it'll work great because i said so! Here's all these easy to poke holes in reasons why!"
posted by emptythought at 2:43 AM on October 2, 2015 [14 favorites]


triggerfiner: Exactly right, except that step 5 is actually "Fail!".

Counterpoint: Yo.

(People were writing serious think pieces about what "Yo" meant for the future of communications and everything. It was all hilarious.)
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:50 AM on October 2, 2015


Most ostensibly successful small business owners i've known were semi clueless, and really cocky.

This is why I will never, ever work for a small business again, as much as I like to support small businesses in every other way. The one I worked for, the owner was just like this. Super cocky, with all these lofty guiding principles that he actually made me recite to him every time we talked, as if I was a schoolchild. They were supposedly his mission statement/differentiating factor but actually were statements of things that are generally accepted as true across our entire industry. BUT his actual implementation of his business was in direct contradiction to what he was spouting (also not unusual in our industry). So when I would put together proposals based on these principles that he made me memorize and recite to him, he was like NO WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT DO THIS. And I was like, I'm confused, this is directly in line with your guiding principles. The thing you're proposing is in direct opposition. (This is true, there wasn't room for interpretation in what we were talking about - it was pretty black and white).

As you can imagine, that job didn't last long and I have never been more happy to return to the warm embrace of corporate America, where at least I have an HR department to somewhat protect me from these psychos.
posted by triggerfinger at 7:02 AM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I work with a number of small businesses. While some business owners are quirky, I enjoy working with them. Everybody is quirky, really.
posted by Nevin at 7:44 AM on October 2, 2015


Yeah but some people's quirks are like, don't like sitting with their back to the door, or keep an old teddy bear by the register for good luck, and other people's quirks are moronic megalomania and smug imbecility.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:47 AM on October 2, 2015 [22 favorites]


Hahaha, well no one ever said work was easy. That's why they pay you to do it.
posted by Nevin at 7:49 AM on October 2, 2015


Not paying people being another occasional quirk of charismatic business leaders.
posted by Artw at 7:56 AM on October 2, 2015 [16 favorites]


I remember at an old job I had to haul boxes off the back of a truck because my quirky boss pissed off the quirky truckdriver who then quirkily refused to unload the truck.
posted by griphus at 8:02 AM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


are these the same quirky guys who quirkily got deported for quirky forgery
posted by poffin boffin at 8:08 AM on October 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


Surprisingly enough, no.
posted by griphus at 8:10 AM on October 2, 2015


I have a wage claim in with my most recent quirky boss who put a stop payment on my last paycheck.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:22 AM on October 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


So quirky!
posted by Artw at 8:24 AM on October 2, 2015


The jackboot of capitalism is so zany!
posted by Chrysostom at 9:09 AM on October 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hey, poffin boffin, I'm going to use your comment to pitch a new television show to the networks!

Introducing Quirks:

Basically the idea is.... "some people's quirks are like, don't like sitting with their back to the door, or keep an old teddy bear by the register for good luck, and other people's quirks are moronic megalomania and smug imbecility."


Tuesday evenings at 7pm!
posted by I-baLL at 9:12 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


My last quirky small business boss, who loved to give me Life Advice all the fucking time, just straight up stole thousands of dollars from the 90 year old woman who owned the company. Talk about quirky! So random lolol! Needless to say, one of his quirky small business bro-pals was right there to give him a cushy landing at a new job once he got found out and shitcanned and sued.
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:16 AM on October 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hell has a foosball table.
posted by Artw at 9:34 AM on October 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hahaha, well no one ever said work was easy. That's why they pay you to do it.

Uh, yeah. I think anyone who has ever worked is aware it isn't easy. I don't understand what this is supposed to mean in the context of working with insufferably egotistical and delusional employers. That you're getting a wage, so shrug it off? Good luck with that approach.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 10:00 AM on October 2, 2015 [10 favorites]


"I don't care what the newspapers say about me as long as they spell my name right." - quote attribute to many people. Fast forward to 2015 - "I don't care what yelp says about me as long as people spell my name right."
posted by dragonbaby07 at 10:45 AM on October 2, 2015


I have a wage claim in with my most recent quirky boss who put a stop payment on my last paycheck.

One of the places i worked like this, i found out after i quit that he had been shorting EVERYONES paychecks except, we think, maybe one guy. I don't really believe he wasn't doing it to him too.

I suspected it for a while, but i needed the job and wasn't having an awesome time finding another one(i had, and had been laid off from it and was offered my old job back). After i left, i decided it wasn't worth it to sue over a couple grand when i had no money(and didn't really know how the labor board worked because i was like 19)

Fucking. Scumbag. Real stand up member of the community, steeling money from high school/college kids.
posted by emptythought at 12:16 PM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Today, in Irony
posted by lalochezia at 12:51 PM on October 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


As a sophomore in college, Julia Cordray hung "Happy Birthday Hitler" posters on students’ doors. Cordray claimed the posters were intended as a satire of Holocaust Remembrance Day posters hung one week earlier.

Cordray expressed no remorse for her actions. "These were meant to be a parody, and parody doesn’t work unless it shocks someone," Cordray said.

Character is Destiny, Julia.
posted by mattdidthat at 1:53 PM on October 3, 2015 [15 favorites]


I was about to say "well I can hardly fault someone for a stupid stunt they pulled way back in college" but this was apparently just 8 years ago.

And man, what a brave stance, attempting to parody Holocaust Remembrance Day. Unfortunately her total misunderstanding of what parody means is all too common.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 2:29 PM on October 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


From the non-apology letter quoted in the article above:

The fliers were not intended to threaten anyone or take any position for or against marijuana or Hitler . .

Sometimes I feel like I don't understand people. I don't always get what rules or meanings are in play in human interactions. As I've gotten older some of the alienation has gone away and I've learned ways to accommodate cultural norms whether I buy into them or not. That said, from the distant perspective afforded by a few articles on the web it seems possible that Ms. Cordray isn't wired right. Which is very odd since I'd believed that technical recruiting, entrepreneurship, and sales would require an intuitive understanding of human nature.
posted by rdr at 3:36 PM on October 3, 2015


From the article:

Julia Cordray had the idea to make mock remembrance fliers after encountering the Holocaust Remembrance Day posters that members of the Williams College Jewish Association (WCJA) posted on students’ doors April 15. Cordray said she regarded the sign as an invasion of her personal space.
posted by mattdidthat at 3:39 PM on October 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


technical recruiting, entrepreneurship, and sales would require an intuitive understanding of human nature.

LOL
posted by Artw at 3:45 PM on October 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cordray said she regarded the sign as an invasion of her personal space.

Oh. So, not so much "parody" as "mean-spirited but lame comeback".
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:20 PM on October 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


Oh dear, have just been looking at Twitter, and the Internet appears to have carpet bombed them off the planet. Their Twitter feed is down. Their Facebook is down. There are many parody sites up, and some of them are so mean I almost feel sorry for them. Except I have the suspicion they are sitting somewhere consoling each other with the idea that any publicity will ultimately be good publicity. (Twitter also says the Hitler poster thing is a different person, btw, no idea if that's true or not-- but it would be a good lesson to her about the problems with her app, if so)
posted by frumiousb at 9:34 PM on October 3, 2015


I am kind of pleasantly surprised by the unanimity of the dislike. A few random gaters trying to defend it, but that's all...
posted by frumiousb at 9:44 PM on October 3, 2015


posted by frumiousb Oh dear, have just been looking at Twitter, and the Internet appears to have carpet bombed them off the planet.

Julia Cordray has apparently deleted the original Peeple Twitter account, and created this new account. I'm honestly not sure if this is real, another parody, or part of the most elaborate marketing in-joke of the 21st century.

In an essay she posted on LinkedIn, Ms. Cordray articulates her surprise and dismay at the global anger and outrage her idea has generated. Cordray writes she has no intention of stopping production, and she insists Peeple is a "positive only app," with which Cordray is determined to bring "positivity and kindness to the world," despite the world telling Cordray it neither needs nor wants the sort of positivity and kindness Cordray believes only she can provide.

Bitter Gertrude has responded.
posted by mattdidthat at 1:37 PM on October 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


"@peeplereviewapp: @BerryMustardo Its not always a bad thing to get one. I'd rather get a letter than pay attorneys." (re: a "ha ha someone got a C&D letter" comment). Well. Have fun figuring out how to not get sued off the planet without paying attorneys, lady.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 3:05 PM on October 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


The LinkedIn article contradicts the basic information which was in their FAQ. And that Twitter account-- wow. I hope it's a parody for her sake.
posted by frumiousb at 3:26 PM on October 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow, from the LinkedIn article:

Except, there is one thing I must tell you; this has always been a positivity app.

...

That’s why Peeple is focused on the positive and ONLY THE POSITIVE as a 100% OPT-IN system. You will NOT be on our platform without your explicit permission. There is no 48 hour waiting period to remove negative comments. There is no way to even make negative comments. Simply stated, if you don’t explicitly say “approve recommendation”, it will not be visible on our platform.

So without apologizing, and without saying "We've changed our mind about this," she has completely 100% redefined what the app is and how it works. (It's lucky they haven't written the app yet! That would be a lot of wasted work!)

Apparently we all deeply understood her "positive" vision, because we foolishly read her website and listened to the words that came out of her mouth...
posted by mmoncur at 8:25 PM on October 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


On the purportedly new official Peeple Twitter page, she told one person, "FUCK YOU," told another she'd had too much red wine, and asked someone else if Peeple was as bad as a gas chamber. (I'd provide links, but she's locked the account.)

John Oliver put the final nail in the coffin.

Character is Destiny!
posted by mattdidthat at 8:49 PM on October 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


er, I meant "deeply misunderstood" above of course.
posted by mmoncur at 12:37 AM on October 5, 2015


I remember at an old job I had to haul boxes off the back of a truck because my quirky boss pissed off the quirky truckdriver who then quirkily refused to unload the truck.

Ok but was the truck quirky?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:09 AM on October 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think the reality show theory has legs. It's sort of like how Silicon Valley has the fictional video compressor, they needed to come up with an obviously fake, yet believable enough to be controversial app to give a framework to the real project, which is a car crash reality tv series about the Real World of Start Ups.
posted by like_neon at 3:12 AM on October 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


This whole thing is gotta be performance art, right? At some point they are going to reveal that they've trolled the media and the "world" with their stunt, exposing how weird and bizarre Silicon Valley is with their crazy app idea and even crazier defense of it?

It's like Balloon Boy, but for the tech industry.
posted by nubs at 8:07 AM on October 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Dear Twitter, Shame on You" a statement by Julia Cordray.

Apparently Ms. Cordray--the creator and CEO of an app designed to harass and bully people--is upset that Twitter does not protect its users from harassment and bullying.
posted by mattdidthat at 10:24 AM on October 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


omg is she even reading what she's writing? Getting attacked on profiles that someone else made in her name?

Peeple Twitter is a place for abuse not business and they don't do anything to protect it's users.

This is delicious.
posted by phunniemee at 10:40 AM on October 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Apparently Ms. Cordray--the creator and CEO of an app designed to harass and bully people--is upset that Twitter does not protect its users from harassment and bullying.

Which is why I'm thinking more and more that it is a stunt or performance art; a way of pointing out the problems with the internet as currently constituted in terms of consent, privacy, social media abuse, etc. on the way to their own TV show or something.

If it's not, they would be smart to pivot at this point and make it about that.
posted by nubs at 12:40 PM on October 5, 2015


posted by nubs I'm thinking more and more that it is a stunt or performance art; a way of pointing out the problems with the internet as currently constituted in terms of consent, privacy, social media abuse, etc. on the way to their own TV show or something.

From today's New York Times: "In the email on Monday, [Julia Cordray] said that she was planning a talk show to 'expose our concept to the world.'"
posted by mattdidthat at 3:03 PM on October 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now that we know this is opportunistic bullshit, I wish I could just flip and switch and shut it all off entirely, instead of having to endure months of them knowingly acting awful while we gawk.
posted by naju at 3:23 PM on October 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


From that NYT piece: “It’s not a hoax,” she tells a person who calls her while she is driving, “but that’s an interesting theory.”

Note that she appears to be using a hand-held telephone while driving, apparently in California. What's the fine for that these days?
posted by Sys Rq at 4:06 PM on October 5, 2015


From today's New York Times: "In the email on Monday, [Julia Cordray] said that she was planning a talk show to 'expose our concept to the world.'"

Short Cordray: LALALALALA-NOT-LISTENING
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:33 PM on October 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


naju: "Now that we know this is opportunistic bullshit, I wish I could just flip and switch and shut it all off entirely, instead of having to endure months of them knowingly acting awful while we gawk."

You're in luck! The momentum created by things like this fades pretty fast. Amy's Baking Company was even batshittier, and yet the hubbub didn't even last a month. Amy and her husband were really pushing to get a reality show made, but even with their level of craziness, it never came to fruition. Peeple is amusing, but doesn't have nearly as much reach or nuttiness as Amy's, so in a week or so you'll only be exposed to Peeple if you actively seek out information about it (like reading this thread).
posted by Bugbread at 5:01 PM on October 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Another article about the talk show/reveal:

"Julia Cordray, one of the founders of the app, told the BBC in an email: 'We look forward to October 12, 2015 where we will be taping for an exclusive talk show and expose our concept to the world.'"

posted by Sys Rq Note that she appears to be using a hand-held telephone while driving, apparently in California. What's the fine for that these days?

A 1-star rating on Peeple.
posted by mattdidthat at 5:59 PM on October 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


Sheeple: Sheeple lets you find other sheep and rate their worth, the quality of their wool, and the cleanliness of their hooves, as well as other sheeply qualities.

Sheep will embrace their digital reputation for access to better, flocks, feed, and farmers.

This is a positivity app, rather than leaving negative reviews of other sheep, we encourage positivity, but have no real way to ensure this. There is no way at all that this could turn into a negative experience for anyone!

Our lack of experience in the digital development realm aside, we are confident that we can use our knowledge of technical buzzwords to push this app into your hooves.
posted by nubs at 8:02 AM on October 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Steeple - rate churches

Sleeple - rate mattresses

Treeple - rate megaflora

Beeple - rate automobile horns

Cheeple - rate bird calls
posted by Chrysostom at 8:16 AM on October 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


I really think Steeple should be for rating rates of incline.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 8:51 AM on October 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


"This might be only 4° of slope but it will always be 5 stars to me!"
posted by ardgedee at 9:04 AM on October 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Creeple - rate Republican presidential candidates
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:34 PM on October 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


posted by His thoughts were red thoughts Creeple - rate Republican presidential candidates

Veeple: rate vice-presidents
posted by mattdidthat at 6:47 PM on October 6, 2015


Creeple - rate Republican presidential candidates

Trump -- One and a half post-massacre fingerpistols
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:59 PM on October 6, 2015


Meeple - rate episodes of Road Runner
Jeeple - rate GM vehicles
Freeple - rate Free Republic articles
Keeple - rate castles in Game of Thrones
Reaple - rate deaths. Like, of people. Or DEATHS, as in anthropomorphic personifications.

"Pale horse impressive. A+++ scythe work. **** would die again."
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:31 PM on October 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


People above have mentioned the rights and duties the app would have as regards data protection (and how they didn't even come close to meeting European standards and probably not US ones either)
Maybe this whole thing was a clever PR stunt to get the Safe Harbour laws suspended...

(No, you're right, it probably wasn't.)
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:02 AM on October 7, 2015


People don't need Peeple: The rise and fall of a fictional app

...I was pretty certain the Peeple app was a hoax...

...Now I think Peeple is more a mental fabrication of its creators. Not a hoax, just a sad fiction. That's because on Sunday, Julia Cordray didn't so much pivot the Peeple app idea. She basically augered it into the ground...

...In August, Ms. Cordray said in a video that one of the things she hoped Peeple would help users determine is: "Do they lie all the time, are they narcissistic?"

I think we know the answer now.

posted by nubs at 8:14 AM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Peepul: rate fig trees
Lepal: rate flower stamens
Reegal: rate monarchs
Peenal: rate prisons
posted by nubs at 8:18 AM on October 7, 2015


Given the demographics of the Internet, I suspect there are a number of homonym sites of long standing for that last one.
posted by y2karl at 8:58 AM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I figure the last two.
posted by nubs at 10:33 AM on October 7, 2015


You all forgot bleeple: How's my spittle flecked anonymous invective ?
posted by y2karl at 11:00 AM on October 7, 2015


Teaple: rate people on their ability, or incompetence, at making a quality cup of tea.

Camelia Blousenpipe-Smithshire ★★★★★ Warmed the pot before introducing the water, and provided tongs for the sugar bowl. A most splendid teatime acquaintance.

Chuck Madison ★☆☆☆☆ Poured milk into my cup before pouring the tea. A monster.
posted by Wordshore at 11:48 AM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]




Teaple: rate people on their ability, or incompetence, at making a quality cup of tea.

Actually this is the one I would be okay with making mandatory.
posted by Artw at 6:01 PM on October 7, 2015


Peeple is hiring!
posted by mattdidthat at 9:09 AM on October 8, 2015


Wow, even that is obnoxious:
What we want: From LinkedIn send me and our Sr. Recruiter; Dustin Crowe, a link to a Dropbox file that has you on video (using only the new Canadian founded video app Bizingle, sign up to Beta test it to make your video application: www.bizingle.com) explaining why you are the best person to lead this tech team and advise on strategy. We also request that you tell us what you want in order to join our team. These instructions above must be followed otherwise we cannot accept your application.
posted by Artw at 9:12 AM on October 8, 2015


this was all viral marketing for Bizingle isn't it
posted by griphus at 9:19 AM on October 8, 2015


Whatever the fuck Bizingle is I hope it dies a horrible death.
posted by Artw at 9:22 AM on October 8, 2015


don't make it mad
posted by griphus at 9:24 AM on October 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


—You got Bizingle in my Peeple!
—No, you got your Peeple in my Bizingle!

There's no right way to eat these feces.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:41 AM on October 8, 2015


Remember the old days, when terrible internet comany names were [color or other adjective]+[animal] instead of [grotesque toddlerish non-word]? Those were the days. Anyway because I have no self-protective instinct I went to bizingle.com where the first thing it told me was

Amplify your BRAND.

Cute huh? But really, as soon as they said "From LinkedIn..." I knew I'd rather chug a pitcher of live fire ants than follow that recruiting process for any kind of job anywhere
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:43 AM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Amplify your BRAND.

with Bramplify
posted by griphus at 9:54 AM on October 8, 2015 [11 favorites]


Wow, that Bizingle thing is even more useless than Peeple.

Create an account on TERRIBLE SITE A WHICH IS PRETTY MUCH THE COMPETITION OF THE BUSINESS YOU'RE APPLYING TO to point us to a video on DODGY FILE SHARING SITE B THAT CONDOLEEZZA RICE IS ON THE BOARD OF which we arbitrarily require you to make with HALF-BAKED APP C. Any applications submitted by more direct methods (e.g. emailed to us), or pointing us to any other site (e.g. YouTube) or any videos made or shared by any of the millions of other methods (e.g. your device's native capabilities) will be ignored, because our HR philosophy is to only consider blind followers who will always put up with our endless bullshit and never do anything less idiotically.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:20 AM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


They are going to get the most amazingly bad applicants. Who would follow that process??
posted by stoneweaver at 10:57 AM on October 8, 2015


They are going to get the most amazingly bad applicants. Who would follow that process??

Only people who would be really invested in working for Peeple. It's like spam email scams: so obviously bizarre that it weeds out anyone from responding who wouldn't fall for Part II of the scam. Or, here, only people who would be willing to really buy into Peeple.

Which is more than a bit creepy.
posted by cjelli at 11:01 AM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm expecting that the successful applicant will have to also be an investor...
posted by nubs at 11:20 AM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


They are going to get the most amazingly bad applicants. Who would follow that process??

Hitler?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:24 AM on October 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Ok, I'm looking at Bizingle:

Bizingle is a social video app tool enabling business owners to create their own 15 second video advertisement to engage with loyal followers through social media. The short video can be a promotion, deal, or whatever you feel is worth sharing to your customers.

So explain why you are the best applicant for the job and what you bring to the table and why you want to join their team in 15 seconds. Why? Because they don't have time to be about a quality selection process - Peeple is all about now, it's about happening, it's about positivity!

I'm giving this: Five stars; would be trolled again.
posted by nubs at 11:30 AM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have never heard of a mandatory video audition for an IT professional. I guess that locks me out of contention, because I don't play a developer on TV.
posted by ardgedee at 11:50 AM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Whatever the fuck Bizingle is ...

It's what that nerd on that tv show says, right?

BAZINGLE!
posted by octobersurprise at 1:35 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Usually when he's made a joke. Nudge, nudge.
posted by nubs at 2:14 PM on October 8, 2015


What we want: From LinkedIn send me and our Sr. Recruiter; Dustin Crowe, a link to a Dropbox file that has you on video (using only the new Canadian founded video app Bizingle, sign up to Beta test it to make your video application: www.bizingle.com) explaining why you are the best person to lead this tech team and advise on strategy. We also request that you tell us what you want in order to join our team. These instructions above must be followed otherwise we cannot accept your application.

How is this real life. It sounds like instructions to a spy for how to make a dead drop.
posted by juv3nal at 2:31 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I sort of wish i was qualified to apply for these guys, just so i could make a video that was entirely me describing myself in an eminem-esque fashion like this for 15 seconds.

DODGY FILE SHARING SITE B THAT CONDOLEEZZA RICE IS ON THE BOARD OF

Regardless of what you think of dropbox, it's still widely used and deeply buried in a lot of mobile apps that are widely used. Yes, even in business. It's still a standard, even though people on tech sites/reddit/mefi love to dump on it.

The entire thing as a package is weird, but "message on linkedin about something you put on dropbox" is normal. It's context, and that stupid bizingle thing that makes it weird.
posted by emptythought at 4:10 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Every time Ms. Cordray posts a new essay on LinkedIn, I feel like I'm watching someone trying to stand up in a hammock and sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl.
posted by mattdidthat at 5:37 PM on October 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


So I know a bunch of us already suspect that Ms. Cordray's real motivation is to make a reality TV show about this.

Now they're asking people to send in videos? Sounds like they want volunteers to create some sound bites they can put in their next series of videos.

Who would follow that process??

Hopefully thousands of people who make videos saying they don't want to work for Peeple. I'd be one of them, but having to sign up for a beta of a ridiculously-named video sharing program is a bit much.

More proof Julia Cordray is a robot trying to sound like a human from the "Now Hiring" post:
We recommend you create a balanced profile of yourself in our platform that shows you as a normal person with areas you can improve on as expressed by the recommendations people give you.
Yes. Must edit profile until it shows me as a normal person. Not a superintelligent alien robot.
We hope to continue in the beta phase until November 2015 so that we can work out any other kinks there may be in the platform and the concept and create the best possible platform that we can for our users.
So... November is 22 days from now, and your new "CTO" starts one day before November. That seems very optimistic.
We believe that there is a market for people who have an appetite for personalized data and feedback on themselves that allows for both personal empowerment and improvement.
"There is a market for people." Freudian slip?

Last but not least here's Cordray explaining why apps that are 'only positive' have no value.
posted by mmoncur at 9:43 PM on October 8, 2015


They are going to get the most amazingly bad applicants. Who would follow that process??


I'm even more convinced this is a set up for a reality tv series. This is an audition, not a job application. The format is exactly what you need to identify "personalities".
posted by like_neon at 4:02 AM on October 9, 2015


That makes sense, since they listed absolutely no technical qualifications for the "CTO"... If they get someone charismatic but completely unqualified it will just make for better TV!
posted by mmoncur at 4:19 AM on October 9, 2015


What is the link to Bizingle? Does Cordray invest in Bizingle? Why do people have to use this app? Why can't they just use their phone video to record 15 seconds? They've been around since last November and they are still in Beta?

If they wanted to just cast a wide net they could have just asked for youtube videos. If they actually wanted a good CTO, they could have at least gotten a recruiter that specialises in app development (Career Fox openings range from marketing to construction)

They've made the application process so hard just to get shitty applicants. I can't get in rage about this app, it is doomed. This is just oggling over a trainwreck.
posted by like_neon at 4:25 AM on October 9, 2015


Bizingle is a doomed app as well.

"Shoot video clips for up to 15 seconds and engage loyal followers" - If they're loyal, they already follow you on mediums that have this ability supported, including more useful analytics. If you want to make a good video you use a dedicated video app with editing features which this app doesn't mention anything about so I assume it doesn't. This app doesn't think about the actual needs of their users or their user's customers. It just thinks about what kind of data it can get from everyone because they read somewhere on Wired that data = money.

It's two doomed apps making doom together. The democratisation effect of the internet just makes it easier for idiots to expose themselves and partner up with each other.
posted by like_neon at 4:34 AM on October 9, 2015


What is the link to Bizingle?

Calgary, apparently. And the last word on them is they got a letter of suspension on their trademark application, which was last May. A cursory Googling around also shows Cordray and Bizingle CEO Nelson Liem seem to be on familiar terms with each other.

I think this means Calgary's most insufferable up-starters are conspiring to drum up business for each other.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:51 AM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


We should at the very least get a reality show out of this. Come on assholes in the Calgary start-up scene: sell out harder, faster and stupider for us.
posted by griphus at 5:15 AM on October 9, 2015


I live in Calgary and briefly considered making a bizingle video for this. Not as the CTO, but as the CCSO (chief common sense officer) who can call out the stupid and then mug for the camera as I get ignored. I think I would be great at the role.

But then I realized I'm not nearly self-absorbed enough to run with this crowd and it doesn't appear to be a confessional style sit-com either. So there goes that idea.
posted by nubs at 6:21 AM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Real 'Treps of Calgary
posted by cortex at 7:35 AM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


posted by griphus We should at the very least get a reality show out of this.

Would you settle for Dr. Phil?
posted by mattdidthat at 9:01 PM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh god.
posted by Artw at 10:24 PM on October 13, 2015


Dr. Phil is still around? I've been living in the UK, what's his show like? What can we confidently expect?

"Cordray is to appear on the same episode as a 20-year-old named Tracey who "thrives on the negative attention she gets on social media"..."

What's the point of having two of the same type of people on the show? (ZING!)

"...and a 22-year-old named Anitha who has never met Tracey in real life but follows her online and is "concerned about the poor choices she sees her virtual friend making."

Er, what?

I am really over my rage about this app. I'm starting to really appreciate the sheer comedic value of this whole saga. I've needed a laugh recently and man are they delivering!
posted by like_neon at 1:41 AM on October 14, 2015


Would you settle for Dr. Phil?

I have no words. They should have sent a poet.
posted by nubs at 3:12 AM on October 14, 2015


Er, what?

Knowing Dr. Phil, this will be the formula:

Tracey will explain why she loves trolling so much. Anitha will express concern for said trolling. Dr. Phil will nod thoughtfully once or twice but mostly cut in with homespun toughlove pronouncements. Then Cordray will be introduced and will talk at length about how her app is about positivity on the net; not the negativity of Tracey, whom everyone on the show will agree is The Problem. Dr. Phil will make some Luddite joke about being clueless with smart phones. Everyone laughs. Dr. Phil wraps up what we all learned today, roll credits.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:12 AM on October 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


"You can't possibly be that naive": Dr Phil delivers a smackdown

“Now I’m thinking, you can’t possibly be that naive. You want people to go on the Internet and write anything they want, but when you came here you wanted to edit the show, review the show and control all the questions I was going to ask you. Are you kidding me?”
posted by nubs at 2:18 PM on October 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


Huge cognitive dissonance at not thinking Dr Phil the jackass and the fraud in a situation.
posted by Artw at 2:42 PM on October 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


That's just how bad Peeple is, Artw.
posted by nubs at 2:52 PM on October 16, 2015


"She's turning to Dr. Phil to help her set the record straight for what she calls her 'positivity app,'" the show's billing states."

No one paying attention needs to have the record set straight, I don't think. People are aware of what the app is going to do, they just know it will not work the way she thinks it will work. People are also probably a bit weary of hearing about how they don't understand, which feels kind of insulting at this point, too.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:04 PM on October 16, 2015


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