WASHINGTON - There is a new app that is letting users rate other people similar to the way we rate businesses on Yelp.
The controversial Peeple app launched Monday and critics are concerned it could lead to bullying or even worse.
The app has many moving parts, but it is based on recommendations to provide a score that can help you find and meet “likeminded connections with high Peeple Number scores with our Nearby feature."
The app has changed since it was first announced. You need to be 21 years or older, you get verified using a Facebook account active for more than six months and you have to have a cell phone. Only members who have signed up will be visible on the site.
The idea of a five-star rating system for individuals has also been dropped. This will take the form of "recommendations" instead for the categories of Personal, Professional and Dating. Then your Peeple Number is populated based on the total number of recommendations you have received in all three categories.
What happens if someone sends you a negative recommendation? Those recommendations never go live without your permission and you can approve or delete any recommendation.
We spoke with psychologist Dr. Joseph Mancusi about the lasting effects of rating people.
“These evaluations can last a lifetime,” he said. “It's not something you can just sluff off. I remember a young woman who told me that when she was 9 years old, that she kicked over a milk bottle in a hallway, which was dark. Her father said, ‘You big dumb cow you.’ An elegant beautiful woman carried that image of herself as a ‘big dumb cow’ for the rest of her life enough to take her to therapy.”
In April, a premium service of the app called the Truth License will allow those who have upgraded to see everything that has been said about other people whether they have chosen to share the comments or not.
You will also be able to share your recommendations on the Peeple app on social media.