Yelp for people

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

So the most surprising thing about Peeple — basically Yelp, but for humans — may be the fact that no one has yet had the gall to launch something like it.

When the app does launch, probably in late November, you will be able to assign reviews and one- to five-star ratings to everyone you know: your exes, your co-workers, the old guy who lives next door. You can’t opt out — once someone puts your name in the Peeple system, it’s there unless you violate the site’s terms of service. And you can’t delete bad, inaccurate or biased reviews — that would defeat the whole purpose.

Imagine every interaction you’ve ever had suddenly open to the scrutiny of the Internet public.

The piece is by the excellent Caitlin Dewey.  Currently the company is valued at $7.6 million.


How are you going to feel, Tyler, when yoju get thousands of negative reviews
for being a self-hating Westerner who wants to submerge Western
civilization into a tidal wave of people who--err--are not like us?

How are you going to fell when submerged with reviews from all your friends and family who understand that you have been brainwashed into white supremacy?

The hint? "Self hating Westerner". You got brainwashed.

White supremacist: White person who holds commonplace, commonsense opinions about immigration.

What's the Cherokee word for "LOL"?

I don't know because THEY'RE ALL FUCKING DEAD

I really shouldn't have laughed at Cliff's comment...but I did.

I'm with Cooper on this one. Cliff, you should probably give yourself a stern finger wagging.

You need not be particularly racist to say that you prefer to live around similar people. Some people prefer diversity (I do), some people are bothered by anything different (it seems you belong to this group).

You need not be particularly racist to be concerned that the poorest Americans make lower wages because they compete with illegal immigrants.

In short, there are legitimate social and economic arguments which address specific concerns of segments of the population, which lead to basically similar policy prescriptions as white supremacists prefer, but for very different reasons.

As I said, the red flag is the subtle mind massaging BS (borderline brainwashing when you are steeped in this propaganda) built into twisted phrases like "self-hating Westerner".


In recent weeks, I have noticed a major rise in the amount of subtle mind-massaging BS clearly intended to promote white supremacism, with subversive ways to try to shame you into thinking you’re weak or stupid for not thinking “right”.

We are smarter than that. The white supremacists will not trick us into racism.

White tricknology!

You know, as non-supreme as white societies are said to be, a lot of people are voting for them with their feet.

We have some pretty good institutions (at least not as messed up as many other places). I attribute that largely to having ejected religion from formally controlling any aspect of politics. And jobs tend to pay more here.

I don't think they come here for the skin colour.

More white tricknology: stealing these institutions that were just lying around everywhere from under the very noses of the indigenous North American tribes.

You're conflating culture and colour.

Institutions take centuries and millennia to build. We should be less judgmental of those places where conditions were less favourable, for example as a result of completely destroying the entire fabric of their political systems during colonialism.

And jobs tend to pay more here.

Well, who thought up that bright idea?


"who thought up that bright idea"

Not the people who lived in places where there was no coal or iron.

Not the people who were non-homeland colonial subjects.

Not the people whose access to global markets was prevented by imperial navies and armies.

Not the people who lived in deserts and jungles completely removed from trade.

Not the people who were separated from Eurasia (read: exchange of technology and goods) due to a giant desert.

Not the people who lived on tiny islands in the middle of an ocean entirely seprated from global exchange of technology and goods.

Not the people who were busy making fireworks with technologies Europeans adopted for the purpose of warfare, and who used naval technologies for fantastic riverboat parties instead of warfare.

Not the people who lived on a continent essentially barren of animals suitable for transportation and farmwork.

Sure, white people did made lots of discoveries, but they had a lot of free time, on the back of slave labour plantations and protected imperial monopolies. That was history, and no f'n way am i going to apologize for it. Now, the whole world gets to benefit from the diffusion of these many lovely technologies.

But I highly doubt that skin colour had much to do with it.


"Not the people whose access to global markets was prevented by imperial navies and armies"

You need to read more Dani Rodrik (or any other history). The (more) correct phrase would be

"Not the people whose domestic industries were undermined by imports imposed using by imperial navies and armies"

However, some historical honesty is also required. South America has been free to manage its own affairs since Bolivar. You can find exceptions, but that is basically true. How is it working out? Asia has been free to manage its own affairs since WWII (with some exceptions). How is it working out? Rather differently.

You need to escape the Eurocentric worldview that the fate of every nation was, and is, determined by how Europe and America treated them. The nations of the world have enjoyed considerable agency in their own affairs for a long time and must take responsibility for their own fate.

"Sure, white people did made lots of discoveries, but they had a lot of free time, on the back of slave labour plantations and protected imperial monopolies. That was history, and no f’n way am i going to apologize for it. Now, the whole world gets to benefit from the diffusion of these many lovely technologies."

Europe was well ahead of the rest of the world in 1500.... Before any plantations existed. You might want to read "Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 B.C.?" by Comin, Easterly, and Gong. No plantations (in Europe) in 1000 B.C.

You prefer diversity? I'm sure you have many conservative christian friends. I'm sure you don't just prefer diversity when it is people -exactly like- you with a different shade of skin color.


I basically agree with what you say.

As for Asia vs Latin America - please also recall that many damaged parts of Asia were not industrializing for the first time. Rather, they REindustrialized after the war (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, especially). Also, they were in areas with long experience (centuries and longer) in fairly effective government administration, importantly including local capacity in administration of taxes and property. Also, due to containment and the Cold War, it was exceedingly important to the USA that certain countries succeed in their industrialization. In Latin America there are factors like very challenging geography, the corrosive influence of drug wars and drug money on public politics, socialist revolutions and/or coups in nearly every country, and generally speaking not being "on the way" of many trade routes (transportation remains "prohibitively" expensive in Latin America). Not to mention different attitudes towards good education and effort in schooling ... I think this is a very short list of obvious reasons for different development outcomes in Asia and Latin America.

I think 1500 is a bit early to say Europe was "well ahead of the rest of the world". Perhaps in the sense of ships that could traverse oceans, but the guns weren't good enough yet to make a major difference in conquest for another century or two. I should be open to the argument though, and downloaded the article you mention for later perusal. I wouldn't be surprised to find good arguments that there had been SOME advantage for a long time, but clearly one they were able to leverage this for imperial enterprise, things really went through the roof (but I don't assert that this proves causation behind the industrial revolution or any such thing).

Thomas - No, I don't have any Conservative Christian friends (used to, but I like to smoke weed and as good righteous people they steered clear of my potentially corrosive influence), but nearly every person I'm related to is one.

" Some people prefer diversity (I do),"

Oh come on. You pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to avoid diversity, to live in a bubble. Everyone who can afford to does.

Diversity means you children get beaten up and your next door neighbor rips open your car to steal your battery.

Revealed preference is that people pay huge amounts of money to stay away from those different from themselves and protect their children from going to school with those different from themselves.

And if they cannot afford to protect their children from going to school with those different from themselves, their children get beaten up.

When I first arrived in Silicon valley, I had absolutely no experience of negroes, and believed the politically correct account of them, so I innocently acted according to my beliefs and placed my wife and children in an area with a significant number of blacks. Violence and robbery ensued immediately.

Even in the nicer parts of Silicon valley there is constant low level stress. In San Francisco you need to keep an eye out for human feces. If you are in the correct part of San Francisco, blacks are not a problem, but gays with their brains fried on drugs are a problem. There is a lot of gay violence and murder. I suppose there is a lot of black violence murder too, but you can avoid that more easily.

I and one of my sons eventually left silicon valley for whiteopia. (different whiteopias) Everyone is white, except for a few vietnamese and thais, and any gays are in the closet. (Well, in my sons town there are a couple of gay areas, but if you stay away from those areas you will not get raped or murdered.) The relief was huge. After a few years I gradually stopped bothering to lock my door when I go out. I sometimes don't lock my car when I park. As I gradually came to take safety for granted, an invisible weight I had not noticed slowly lifted from my shoulders.

Now I hear all you people saying "bigot, bigot, bigot, racist racist homophobe" - but you pay a great big pile of money to live in your bubbles.

Those 650 million adults (not counting their dependents) who Gallup found would emigrate if they had the chance to (now some of them do, if they can pass for Syrians) are all white supremacists. People are lying, cheating, bribing and defrauding their way to get into white supremacies and obtain hereditary rights to stay.

"The people in that picture are middle-class black Africans and Middle Easterners who have paid large sums of money—sometimes all their families could raise—to be trucked across great deserts in tremendous heat, kept waiting for weeks in stuffy cargo sheds with inadequate sanitation, crammed into barely-seaworthy boats, and pushed out into an unforgiving sea; all in the hope—which seems about to be fulfilled—of living at last under the blessings of white supremacy.

To these boat people, life under white supremacy is a radiant vision, a golden dream, to attain which they are prepared to risk their lives. Their dearest hope is to make it to one of the north-European nation-states where the native language is of the Germanic family: Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Ireland, …

Most of the people who live in those target nation-states are white, as are most of the people who govern them.

Those nation-states were established and built by white people, for white people, across many centuries of social and constitutional development.

They are nation-states in which white people are supreme (“highest in rank or authority … holding or exercising power that cannot be exceeded or overruled … dominant”—Webster’s Third). By any reasonable interpretation of the phrase “white supremacy,” therefor, those target nation-states are white supremacist. Indeed, the complaint made against them by nonwhite race activists is precisely that they are white supremacist.

Presumably the boat people know this. For sure they know about nonwhite supremacy. They have lived their lives under it and had their fill of it, to the degree they are willing to gamble all they have to escape from it.
Like the East German escapees, they are expressing a revealed preference—for white supremacy."

You can't negatively review him unless a) he signs up for the site and b) you have his cell phone number.

The whole idea is that you don't have to sign up to be reviewed and you can't opt out.

Oh, sorry, I should've read other comments before posting. -_-

Is it so clear what positive or negative reviews are? "He now only beats up his wife once a week, no longer every day"

"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." If that's true, then the tone of the article ("you may be receiving tones of unfavorable reviews, and there is nothing you can do about it") is grossly misleading: never sign up, and you'll never receive negative comments. Doesn't look so terrible after all, and of course there will be a lot of selection bias regarding whom decides to sign up. The tone of the reviews for those who sign up will be positive overall, and I can readily imagine groups of friends signing up and saying positive things about each other.

Nice reputation you've got there. Shame if something were to happen to it.

I have a very common name, last name too. Googling me shows senators and football players.

If I don't sign up, how on earth is it going to be about me?

The flaw I see, with data analyst hat on, is no unique keys to identify Peeple.

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


Then this app is pretty useless.

Not at all useless. Someone on there with 500 positive reviews is much more promising than a stranger.

Which developing country will corner the market on paid-for positive Peeple reviews? Nigeria is the obvious contender.

It will show the world how much money you are willing to pay to get good reviews.

So, by NOT registering, you protect yourself from negative personal reviews.

That looks like a sizable incentive for not registering, but if few register the site will fail. Unless the rewards for registering exceed the value of this incentive, of course.

But will they, and for whom? And, umm, if you register can you later un-register?

Except that it's not really true.. You CAN leave negative reviews, as long as you give them five stars. The text can then be whatever you like.

Doing that correctly involves some fairly heavy-duty language understanding to figure out whether a review is positive or negative.

"I personally saw Jack spin the craftiest bald-faced lies I have ever seen to trick his client into signing the contract. Five stars!"
"Jenny's an awesome employee! Not much between the ears, but great legs! Five stars!"

Good luck determining in any automated way that those are really negative reviews instead of positive ones...

Well, this is valid worry but it seems a lot of people is already working on that issue: "sarcasm detection algorithm"

Most articles are behind a paywall, but one open is from 2010. Sarcasm detection precision of 77% is not bad, perhaps it's even better than the average human. I assume 5 years later sarcasm detection algorithms are better.

"Sarcasm detection algorithm" ? Yeah, sure, and tomorrow we will algorithmically erase hunger and poverty on earth .

"I really admire the way Jack's addressed his mental health issues! He's taking to the therapy and meds really well! He's an inspiration!"

"Susan may not have been blessed with traditional good looks or great intelligence, but she more than makes up for it in ambition! She'll do anything or anyone to get ahead! You Go Girl! Reach for the stars!"

"Kudos to Pat for challenging everyone's ideas about how a person of their gender should look or behave! What an amazing rebel!"

Please write many reviews.

"You are fortunate if you get Billy to work for you."

Made me laugh out loud.

They say that to rate someone, you have to know their phone number. I wonder how the system will verify it?

I bet someone can buy a burner phone, review whoever they want listing that phone number as their target's number. Peeple will never know. The target won't know they've now got a profile and are being rated until the 48-hour mark has passed. (Presumably, to contest any of that they'd need to sign up, in which case all those negative reviews would then show up...)

It seems to me that the idea of 'rating' someone who doesn't want to be on the site is making a playground for trolls and harassers... much better if ratings (positive or negative) only show up if both people are willingly on the site.

There was something like this already and it failed. it was called Rapleaf.

There was something like Facebook already and it failed. It was called Myspace.

Myspace didn't fail, Facebook just did better.

It didn't, though:

EU to the rescue!

Tell the investors to throw another funding round and more money at buying the tech inevitably needed once the big regulator gets wind of this.

The irony is that the U.S. law that allows sites like this to operate with confidence is the Communications Decency Act which was originally intended to censor and regulate the internet. There is a provision that holds third parties including ISPs and webmasters immune if their resources are used to circulate libel. If someone uses this site to falsely accuse you of fondling co-workers or being into kiddie porn, your only recourse is to track down the person who posted the comment and sue him or her for libel.

So "mean tweets" are becoming a stand-alone app?


It looks like as long as Twitter doesn't consider a mean Tweet "abusive," and you don't disclose anything confidential, that kind of thing is above board.

You should be very skeptical of the this app and its potential.

The more I read about her, the more I think the founder is just very good at self-promotion.

This app sounds like a recipe for disaster in the hands of teenagers, ex-lovers and the mean spirited.

Imagine how great this will be for our already vast political divide. Now I'll be able to quickly identify anyone less progressive than me and disassociate myself! /s

Precisely. "Trust" is a very flexible word. For some people trust means a contract will be fulfilled or simply not being physically attacked by others. For other people "trust" means the Joneses cook with canola oil (or whatever oil is healthy these days) and they make sure Timmy does not watch TV unsupervised. Thus, it's safe my son can spend the afternoon with the Joneses.

Facebook already has this functionality but in a more positive like: Facebook groups. For example, there are much more "I like this band" than "I don't like this band" groups. Peeple, in contrast to Facebook, would encourage the sharing of negative issues. I have no idea if it's a good or bad thing but to have an idea of the opinions you may find just take a look at Tripadvisor or Yelp.

I'm a five star man. I'm a five star man!

This seems just like the reputation markets from Stross' Accelerando.

" And you can’t delete bad, inaccurate or biased reviews — that would defeat the whole purpose." Mindless, strident, and abrasive internet chatter, what a novel idea. If Peeple is a success, then the whole purpose of the internet could be transformed into a mindless, strident, and abrasive exercise in bad, inaccurate, and biased views. Imagine that.

How about enrolling all immigrants on Peeple for a two year trial period then deporting the lowest rated 50%?

"Jose keeps muttering something about his "derechos". Do we really need this troublemaker?"

They must call it:


I'm a pessimist on Peeple. It's one of those things that are really fun until someone is hurt and the party goes awry. Some interesting situations come to my mind:

a) How things would change if an online service tracks your opinion over time? You review a friend with 5 stars but a few months later this guy makes a low status mistake like Geoffrey Miller fat-bullying twitt. Internet vigilantes had a good time with Geoffrey Miller. What would happen if you're the random friend whose 5-star review appears at the top of Miller's Peeple page? I don't know how to call it, but it's something like association risk. If someone falls, Twitter vigilantes will give a hard time too to the friend that gave a good rating to the controversial guy.

b) Family issues in a review system, a really complex issue. As a child I had no idea how messed up is the world. If I can review my elder parents I would give them a 5-star rating for having a childhood free of emotional and physical abuse. Growing up and meeting people of my age dealing with being molested in the past made me really thankful. However, if someone would have rated my parents for the their visible thus rateable attributes, they would be well under average: atheists, not belonging to any group/clb in the town, me and my brother being good clients of ER at the hospital......not popular people. So, Peeple ratings, what do they really rate? Trust as announced or something else?

The makers of this app have a series of "watch us make an app in 90 days!" videos on YouTube and...

1. They're using an outsourced development team in India to build it and they don't seem to have any technical knowledge. Probably nothing they say about the functionality and security of the final app can be believed.

2. Their user testing seems to consist of just walking around and bothering random San Franciscans with stuff like "do you know what Yelp is? Would you use this?"

3. In one video they spend time pretending to agonize over what each star rating means (spoiler: one star means something like "you could definitely do better!") before just deciding to let their outsourced development team figure it out. This is after they've non-agonizingly decided that the "three ways" you could ever possibly know someone are "personal," "professional," and "dating." Three-dimensional man.

4. They moved to San Francisco to build this with an outsourced international development team. Whoever invested in this is paying for them to have a Silicon Valley vacay. And it seems like the "$7.4 million valuation!" is based on like one or two investors buying in at that price.

5. Launch keeps getting pushed back.

Also, turns out there's already a photo sharing app called Peeple. The first prominent U.S. press they received for their app which hasn't launched yet called it "terrifying" in the headline, and they took their Twitter and Instagram accounts private at the moment they were getting what I bet they thought was going to be flattering press.

I don't doubt that someone else will come up with an app that does something like this that gets traction ("Uber (ratings) but for stuff besides driving or riding in a car!"), but it will be a miracle if this particular app ever a) actually launches & b) has more than like 10 active users.

Recruiters making an app, it is an amazing world. I wonder who invested in them.

How many apps do we need to cram onto our cell phones? This smells more and more like using artificial scarcity to carve out what is basically an advertising medium and eke out some income from it. Bubble Economics.

Making a successful app is 1% programming 99% marketing. This is not unique to Peeple.

The founders also seem to lack marketing skills... unless eliciting a bunch of articles that call the app "horrifying" etc in the headlines counts as earned media.

I'm growing increasingly convinced that "horrifying dystopia" is the average American's revealed preference.

+1 Ouch but. . . ouch.

This really underlies how terrifying it is when economists say "multiple equilibria."

If something like this ever gets traction, I don't think it would be a terrible thing. I don't want it to happen, but I think the worst case scenario is that it will take us back to the small-town or even tribal interaction level where everybody knew pretty much everything about everybody else.

Some of us are still at small-town level, rendering the app pointless. We know who the tossers are already.

In those days, you could just move to another small town. You might be distrusted as a newcomer, but at least you could start again and try to do right. Having your reputation follow you everywhere for life isn't something that appeals to me.

We can see why!

So kind.

Why do you say?

Totally kidding. No harm intended.

Are the reviewers anonymous?

Until the libel suits are filed and the subpoenas follow. Seriously, if this is real, this will be a race between the court system and, as noted above, the EU regulators.

I would be more concerned about teen suicides than libel actions.

A futures market for libel, interesting.

It's a good thing people never get jealous or hurt!

Take the spergs' toys away from them.

Close the Circle.

This was an episode of Community called "App Development and Condiments".

beat me to it. I give this app 2 meowmeowbeanz.

Did everyone already forget about Jotly? It lets you rate literally anything or anyone? Started as a joke, but then they built it.

I'm reminded of Bill Hicks talking about people in advertising and marketing: "there's no rationalization for what you do and you are Satan's little helpers. Okay? Kill yourself. Seriously. You are the ruiner of all things good."

Umm... if the app has nasty, factually inaccurate reviews about people who aren't famous or politicians, wouldn't that be defamation, and wouldn't that make the app a publisher of the defamation, meaning it would be liable too?

Not according to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which generally shields webmasters, ISPs and other third parties from liability for the conduct of people who use their services.

A good argument for dumping your cell phone and only using landlines.

Assuming this app is successful, what new markets would it create or change?

1. phone numbers and email addresses become sacred. A cloaking device which hides numbers/addresses could be installed on each phone. if you're in proximity to someone else, you could accept that person's handle name, without ever know their contact details. You or this person could block each other if things turn sour.

2. The demand for multiple names would go up. People will develop separate names for family, friends, work, the State and relationships. This will become a headache for, not only the authorities, but also banks and courts. It will resemble something like the Native American naming system. Pick-up Artists have already figured this out.

3. The demand for social media declines. (I feel like we've already reached peak socail media, but that's just me.)

Perhaps more people would get legal name changes?

I don't want to read the linked article, but does it mean if you *do* violate the terms of service you can be removed? Because I can probably think of a lot of ways to violate the ToS.

Most online reviews are fake, and that there are major problems with existing personal review systems on sites like Couchsurfing. I've wondered about personal reviews eventually taking off, but there will be many bugs to work out along the way.

I found the review system on Couchsurfing to be pretty decent. You need to get a couple/few decent reviews to get some traction though.

What are these "major problems" you refer to?

The irony.

"Woman makes app that lets people rate and review you, Yelp-style. Now SHE'S upset people are 'reviewing' her"

+1 Priceless. I've never thought to approve anonymous internet revenge, but this is good.

Ban the launch of the 'Peeple' application.

Sign the petition below!

To repost a comment embedded above, I don't think it can even work, so don't sweat "implications."

There are few unique keys in our world for Bob Smith number 12244.

What are they going to use, SSN? Current cell phone number? Piggyback of Facebook and only review those people (and not the old man next door)?

I have $-signs in my eyes as I read this. (I am a lawyer.)

I created RateMyProfessors and various other rating websites, as well as a very popular people search engine called PeekYou (10mm+ monthly visits). I know his stuff better than almost anyone. "Yelp for People" won't work because we don't think about relationships with other people in terms of scores and rankings. We can rate services, classroom experiences, and restaurants, yes. Even before the Internet we were effectively rating and reviewing services when we would share those opinions with our peers. But that isn't how we deal with other people as human beings (unless you are a psychopath). So don't worry everyone -- no one is going to actually use this service.

Everything now can be done online, but to find the ideal thing we need to have proper place to research. I am a trader and for me most important part is right company to work with and that’s where I work with OctaFX broker and get full benefits with them been regulated as well been a true ECN company, so that is what helps me work smoothly and allows me to be successful while they even have 24/5 support service.

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