Peeple, a controversial online app described as ‘Yelp for humans’ has disappeared from the web.
The app sought to ‘rate and rank’ other people but was met with hostility from critics who feared the app could be used for public shaming, harassment and stalking. And now Peeple’s Twitter, Facebook and main homepage have been pulled without explanation.
A post on Snopes.com over the weekend questioned the provenance of both the app and its founders. The post claimed there was no evidence for the app’s existence before the Washington Post interview that catapulted the app into notoriety, and suggested that the real reason behind the app’s inception was to promote a reality web series starring Julia Cordray, co-founder of the app.
Cordray rejected the claims in a blog post on LinkedIn, as well as defending Peeple as a “positivity app”.
“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,” she wrote. “I hope now if nothing else by watching me you can clearly see why the world needs more love and positivity”.
She also addressed some of the many worries expressed by concerned users.
“Peeple is focused on the positive and only the positive as a 100 percent opt-in system,” she explained. “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”.
Despite the account deletion, it might not be the end of the road for Peeple just yet.
“We look forward to October 12, when we’ll expose our concept to the world,” Cordray told the BBC. “The world’s largest positivity app for positive people is launching November 2015 on iOS and Android”.