The vile nature of what the internet can be at times never ceases to amaze me. Yesterday we talked about ‘Peeple,’ an app which should never exist. It is an app which is supposedly in development and will allow you to rate people. It was marketed by one of the founders as the “Yelp for People” app. This morning, Peeple has vanished from the internet. The social media accounts which the company were using are all offline, for a number of hours the website was coming up as a 404 error. However now some users (such as myself) are seeing a notice to “join the positive revolution” on the website address.
One of the founders, Julia Cordray has written a blog post on LinkedIn titled, “I became a trending topic for the wrong reasons. Here’s why we need Peeple, the positivity app I’m building.”
You can read it for yourself above however to cut it short, Cordray talks about having a “positive only” review app for people (as if some of us need any more of an ego boost) and emphasises how her app will be constructive, necessary and beneficial. While she seems to miss the point that countless articles have made against the app, one of the alarming things is that she has received death threats and extremely insulting comments following the apps reveal.
Since the interview with The Washington Post, I’ve received death threats and extremely insulting comments aimed at me, my investors, and my family on almost every social media tool possible. I hope now if nothing else by watching me you can clearly see why the world needs more love and positivity.
Here’s the catch. I can’t delete any of them. They are there forever for the world to see.
So lets think about this: a creator tries to market an app which we all agree is a terrible idea and should never exist. However, instead of criticising the app, some people saw fit to make it personal and send her death threats and attacking her instead of the app.
Oh internet, will we never learn? I know that this is a small number of people, but the problem online is that small numbers of people can have a loud voice online. I know that people get incredibly brave when they are comfortably sat behind the screen banging away on their keyboard and spewing all kinds of vile. Meet them in real life and they are the exact people who are afraid of confrontation and won’t say it to your face. How very brave of them!
I appreciate that its ironic Cordray does not like the idea that she is now being reviewed by anonymous people on the internet, but as always people go too far and make it personal. As a consequence, these people who are throwing death threats and hate her way are the very example of the kind of hate that would have plagued this app should it have launched as originally intended. So the reality is that the people sending death threats are no better than the people creating the app they are so against, they are in fact much worse.
Let’s be clear, this is a terrible app idea. I am still skeptical as to whether it is real or just some big PR stunt, we will just have to see what happens on October 12th.
The BBC spoke with Peeple co-founder Julia Cordray over email. Although Cordray didn’t comment on why the website and social media accounts were deactivated, she seemed to confirm that the app is still on track for a November release, saying “we look forward to October 12, 2015 where we will be taping for an exclusive talk show and expose our concept to the world.”
In the meantime, how about keeping it to criticism about the app instead of personally insulting the people behind it.