Peeple alert. I am now on full Peeple watch. (By the way I’m super sorry if this is annoying for anyone, but I am so fascinated and horrified and... I can’t be the only one, right?)

Just as Twitter west coast really starts to amp up, the main founder—the one who keeps talking—does an interview with Newsweek and doubles right the fuck down. Check out this quote where she compares her app’s naysayers to people ignorant of the sun’s rotation:

“There’s a lot of misunderstandings of the way the app actually works,” Cordray says. “We have more integrity features and more accountability features built in than many online ratings systems today. I can appreciate, when people found out the world was actually round and not flat, and that we revolved around the sun instead of the sun revolving around us, there was tons of fear and uproar. We need to keep in mind that with any new concept and any new idea, there’s always going to be some fear and some concern.”

Not only does she think everyone who doesn’t agree with her is an idiot, she apparently thinks she’s saving the world from mass ignorance. Peeple will change the face of science, technology, and culture.

Here’s another nice tidbit:

Who makes the distinction between positive and negative comments? That’s a responsibility Peeple reserves for its own staff. Peeple operates on a star system, modeled after Yelp’s rating scale—and even if a hurtful comment doesn’t go live, it will be shared with the person who is being rated.

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ETA Meanwhile, on Facebook...

As recently as two hours ago Evil Overlord Founder Cordray was copy-and-pasting “emails” from supporters as Facebook posts in a (very) misguided effort to squelch the tide of critical comments. An example:

What has added an extra layer of fascination to this whole trainwreck for me is that fact that so much of the critique Peeple has received has been relatively thoughtful and tempered. I mean, I took a deep dive into angry Twitter and saw one relatively innocuous poop image aimed their way. I’m sure there is and was worse than that, but I don’t think I’m wrong when I say that the vast majority of antagonism they’ve experienced has been aimed squarely at the app itself, not them as people.

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Yet, even with that—and the tide is starting to turn... it’s beginning to get extra nasty out there, which I don’t like at all—the founders have reacted as though they’re being personally attacked. With a total lack of irony they’ve repeatedly decried their critics as bullies, even so far as telling one Canadian columnist that he shouldn’t judge them before he calls them personally:

I get scenarios where these founders are negligent, sociopathic, greedy, even naive... but I don’t get the total blindness to their situation. Maybe you’d miss it the first time, but the 500th time? People have been calling them out on the irony for almost 48 straight hours, lambasting them, and they’re still fucking thrilled to be “going viral.”

It is The Emperor’s New Clothes levels of self-denial.

The other thing is the alleged 50K that Peeple received in government funding, they mentioned it in one of their webisodes (yes, there are webisodes). If I were Canadian I’d be pissed as fuck about a data-mining company like this—need to cross-reference any phone numbers?—getting government funding.

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ETA DEUCE I have been reporting comments of them stating “caste,” and it appears those were from an ingeniously named parody Twitter account. Note the identical-appearing @names... (not trying to excuse myself, but does anyone know which character is special???) I’m an idiot that’s a capitol I.

To the best of my knowledge the caste statement is the only one that’s false. My comments are too old to change, but I can state it here. Thanks to NinjaCate for pointing it out and Jigsaw_Jo for giving proof... I thought checking the @name would be enough; I underestimated Twitter.

The rest stands though.