We turn to websites and apps to determine what movie we should see, which restaurant to visit and even which doctor might provide the best care — but should we rely on ratings for people?
An app being developed in Calgary called peeple aims to do just that.
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"You're going to rate people in the three categories that you can possibly know somebody — professionally, personally or romantically," said peeple CEO and co-founder Julia Cordray. "So you'd be able to go on and choose your five-star rating, write a comment and you will not be anonymous."
The app requires you to log in through Facebook and to provide your phone number in order to ensure you're a real person and to make it more difficult to submit malicious ratings.
But why should we rate people the same way we rate restaurants?
"You should have the right to know who somebody is before you invite them in to your home, around your children. They become your neighbours, they teach your kids, you go on dates with them," said Corday.
Negative comments do not automatically show up on the app, but are first sent to the inbox of the person being rated. The two people have 48 hours to work it out between them or the person being rated can defend themselves by commenting on the rating once it's posted.
"There seems to be some fear and I have a lot of empathy for that. With any new idea or concept, there's naturally misunderstandings, there's naturally fear, there's naturally a bit of resistance. But I'm going to lead by example and show that this app is actually more positive than it ever could be negative," said Corday.
Rather than seeing this as a means to attack people online, Corday thinks even bad reviews can be positive.
"So, you can't please everybody, but if you're a business owner, or you're a professional, or you're that young urbanite or you're that parent looking to make better decisions, you also deserve to see where you could improve," she said.
"Think of this as an ability to grow and get some honest feedback."
Cost and benefit
And if you don't want to be judged on peeple?
"Let's say we allow you to delete your profile and let's say you are a person of questionable character. All the people of questionable character could hide from the app and then what's the point?" said Corday, adding those on the app could see benefits for their good scores.
The app is scheduled to launch in the App Store this November.