BY CHRIS KRAUSS
Thomas Hobbs has a famous theory that people are inherently bad, while John Locke argued the antithetical, and this dichotomy is exactly what separates the groups of people that either love or hate Peeple, an app that lets you numerically rate your peers.
Peeple is simple. All it requires is a phone number and a Facebook account, and someone to plug that into the app. If a person knows another person’s phone number (which in turn has to be connected to a Facebook account in order to be considered valid) they are able to add them to the app’s directory. No ifs, ands or buts.
From here the app grabs the person’s profile picture and basic information from Facebook, using it to add a placeholder for that person. The phone number added gets a text saying they were added to Peeple and then the person is allowed to be rated in three categories: personal, professional and relationship.
There are plenty of arguments to be made against the app such as the lack of privacy, the unethical basis, or the simplification of a person down to three rated categories.
Each of these arguments holds some ground, and to the more extremists of those who oppose it, there is only one thing to be said: Get over it.
The privacy argument falls flat on its face as the notion of privacy has long been forgotten in the digital age. Anything and everything you do has a chance of being added to social media or, for the more archaic users, email for the whole world to see.
Every interaction a person has with someone else has the chance of being the butt of a joke, or in a more positive light, the chance of being a proverbial story told to thousands just by the click of a button.
Therefore, an app that allows a person to do the same thing that they already do, just more conveniently, should not be shunned. Especially given the strick rules that the app has explicitly stated in order to prevent mishaps and protect some of those more over protective users.
These rules range from deleting aggressive, negative, or personal comments to not allowing people to comment on the relationship category if the person is currently in a relationship. The app even allows for the user to contact the developers directly in order to remove content they feel uncomfortable with that has been posted.
In regard to the argument that Peeple is built off an unethical basis can be counterpointed with humans like to know what they are getting into before they get into something. This is obvious because of the obscene amount of websites that rate different products, services, and places (i.e. Yelp, Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon, etc).
Therefore arguing that rating people is unethical begs the question of if these websites who promote people’s products, personal services, and the people who provide them is unethical also.
Coincidentally, the last argument made against the app that simplifying the rating process into just three categories does not fully cover the extent of a human is the weakest argument. Breaking people down into the three categories is actually the most efficient manner of rating someone.
If the rating process was a conjunction of all these things into one number, it would only skew the data. No one would want their overall score to drop percentages purely because they were not particularly apt at dating, while they were spectacular in every other aspect.
The same thing goes for people arguing that there are so many more aspects to a person. While this is true, these many smaller aspects all fit into these larger sections just fine. A person does not need a specific number to tell them how organized someone is or what their skill level as a cook is, it would be unnecessary and take away the point of the app.
This being the ability to help find people to meet, date or bond with. Maybe an employer uses this app to help them find people who are more professional or a person wants to know if this person is a right match for them, the app allows the user to do what they want with it.
At the end of the day, Peeple is just bringing all the information from all over the web into one place. And honestly, the only real reason to hate the app would be if you were going to be receiving bad ratings from people, as someone who received good ratings would not complain because they were receiving praise.
If you are one of those people that would get bad ratings, maybe this is a punch to the face that you, and others like you, need in order to encourage you all to be better Peeple.