Yelp for People?! (A response to Peeple)

It never ceases to amaze how easily and quickly people will throw their personal lives away.  I am constantly in a state of awe when I see a bunch of people who are supposed to be rational individuals being like, “yeah, I totally want the government sniffing around in my life.  That REALLY sounds like a great idea!  Or hell, let’s not even go to the government.  They are totally cool with corporations and employers sniffing around too.  Because employers do.  There isn’t an employer one who doesn’t look their potential employees up online.  If you don’t have a Facebook page, employers are immediately suspicious of you.  It’s a weird thing not to have.  This is the world we live in.

But there is a company that decided – you know what sounds like a great idea?  If we took the lack of privacy and the push for less and less free speech and accelerated it!  If we took the fact that people suck and people are manipulative pieces of shit and gave everyone a platform.  Introducing, Yelp for people!  It’s an app called Peeple.  Yeah, the name’s subtle.  It lets you peep into a person, to find out how good a person they are.  How it works is that all someone needs is your cell phone number, and they can make a Peeple page for you.  That’s right, it doesn’t even have to be you making the account.  It can be someone else.  There, people write reviews for you.  They rate you, as a person.  Can you already see the problems with this?

An article in The Washington Post laid out why this is so scary (linked here), but I think that they didn’t go deep enough.  There is another side to this, that is even scarier.  See, the two women who made this app are getting government funding.  That’s right, some government entity (that they have refused to disclose) has given the $50,000 to make their app.  Do I even need to talk about the implications?  Can you say NSA, anyone?  They refuse to disclose who gave them the money, so we have no idea.  How are we expected to trust these people with all this information, when they are getting money from people who could EASILY use this app to spy on you?

But let’s put aside the conspiracy theories.  Let’s talk about real-world problems with this app. Let’s remember that we live in an age of trolls and social justice warriors.  The average SJW has no compunction about putting out false information about people.  Neither does the average troll, but let’s not focus on them right now.  The SJW crowd will do ANYTHING to smear their enemies.  They will dox.  They will harass.  They will get people like Jenny McDermott to put out endless amounts of lies, just so they can look good.  When you give these people a platform where they can spew as much lies and bullshit about you as possible, then it is OBVIOUSLY going to be abused!  People are obviously going to troll someone.  And the security on the site is such a joke.  Someone put out a lie about you?  You have two days to contest (assuming you know about it), then it goes up.  So if you don’t even know that people are putting stuff out about you, you’ll never know.  They can talk about how you are a pedophile who touches kids.  Hey, maybe Salon.com will write an article defending you.  It is progressive to be a pedophile, now.  Ain’t that right, Nyberg?

This app scares the shit out of me.  It’s scary that this is something that people are into.  The Washington Post article even said that they are surprised that someone didn’t make this sooner.  What does it say about us, as a species, when we are running so fast to be able to take away our personal identities?  When we are running to have everything about yourselves thrown out into public so that we can become even more callous and judgmental?  What does that say about us, as a species?  I’ll tell you what I see it saying – nothing good.  It says that we don’t care about privacy.  It says that we don’t care about anonymity on the Internet.  It says that we are totally fine with an app that will obviously be exploited by people who want to be assholes and do harm to other people’s reputations.  Just look at how Yelp is trolled.  There is no reason to believe that the same won’t happen here, and this is something that people want.  That fact alone scares the ever-loving shit out of me.

For the longest time, I have been thinking – where does it end?  Where does all of this end?  Where does the point come where we can stop going down the road to this insane cyberpunk future that we are embracing with open arms.  This post-modern dystopia of apathy and hate, where no one trusts anyone else and people look to the Internet to know how people feel about them.  That’s where we are heading.  Is anyone else afraid of this?  Am I alone in feeling this way?  I can’t be the only one.

In the meantime, this app and the people behind it cannot be trusted.  They are getting funding from some undisclosed government entity to make an app that I bet the NSA is just super with.  We don’t know who they are sharing our information with, and that should scare the hell out of people.  But it won’t.  People don’t care.  We live in the age of apathy, where no one gives a single dusty fuck about the fact that we have given another outlet for people to destroy people’s privacy and be complete pieces of shit to.  Nice work, humanity.  This is who we are.  If this is what we’ve come to, then I can’t help but believe that our species is doomed and we should all be destroyed.

Until next time, a quote,

“The world did fine before us.  I will continue long after we are gone.”  – Katherine Collins, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

Peace out,

Maverick

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