March 7, 2016 2:41 pm
Updated: March 7, 2016 3:15 pm

Controversial people-rating app ‘Peeple’ launches in North America

WATCH ABOVE: Controversial people-rating app ‘Peeple’ launches in North America. Nicole Bogart reports.

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After stirring up enormous controversy last year, Peeple – better known as “Yelp for people” – launched in North America Monday.

The app allows users to review and give star ratings to anyone they know; whether they are an ex, a co-worker, or a neighbour.

Unveiled last October, the ratings-based social network was met with intense criticism from the media, celebrities and social media users alike not just for the idea that people were to be reviewed like restaurants, but thanks to some questionable rules.

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For example, in the original description of the app, it specified that users would be able to add any name to the service to review and that person would be unable to opt-out of that review – a feature that had many concerned about bullying.

READ MORE: Meet ‘Peeple’ – The controversial app that wants you to rate other people without consent

Additionally, positive ratings were to be published immediately; however, negative ratings and those with low star ratings were to be held for 48 hours. It would then be up to the person being reviewed to “work it out” with the reviewer in a private message format.

However, thanks to public outrage over these features, the app being released Monday has some changes.

Peeple now requires users to willingly participate in the social network – which means your name can’t simply be added to the system by another user.

The app also requires users sign in with a Facebook account that has been active for more than six months and provide your phone number as a second means of identity verification.

Users will also have full control over what reviews are published to their profile.

“If you don’t approve a recommendation you can easily delete it. Remember, recommendations never go live on your profile without your permission,” reads the app’s new FAQ section.

Peeple has also scrapped its original five star rating system – moving forward, users will be awarded with a “Peeple number,” which consists of the total number of recommendations you receive from people on the site.

Users can rate you under three sections: professional, personal and dating.

Though it appears the app’s creators changed some of the features in the app to address people’s criticisms, many took to social media Monday to protest the app’s release. Most argue that the app will still promote bullying and harassment.

Peeple’s terms of use states, “We do not tolerate profanity, bullying, health references, disability references, confidential information, mentioning other people in a recommendation that you are not currently writing a recommendation for, name calling, degrading comments, abuse, derogatory comments, sexual references, racism, legal references, hateful content, sexism, and other parameters in our terms and conditions.”

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