Controversial app ‘Peeple’ is back in the news this month, as it was recently launched. The app allows users to give feedback on people they have interacted with in personal, professional and romantic scenarios, which could potentially cause damage to personal and professional online reputations.
The app caused uproar at the back end of last year, after it was announced that it would be launching with various controversial features. But the app’s owners, Julia Cordray and Nicole McCullough, have made some significant tweaks to their programme following the negative backlash.
Online review sites such as Glassdoor and TripAdvisor play a large role in today’s society. These sites allow people to determine which goods or services to use. However, there was widespread outrage that ‘Peeple’ would allow for defamatory remarks and cyber bullying, with nobody exempt.
‘Peeple’ has been dubbed the “Yelp for human beings”, allowing people to give reviews and comments about people they have come across. Initially, it was set to have a star-rating between one and five, as well as a 48-hour time limit so people affected by the content in question can “work it out with the user” before the post went live.
Following the negative criticism, these two features have been removed by the owners. Controversially, however, a purchasable element ‘The Truth License’ will still allow users to access everything that has been written about somebody on ‘Peeple’, including comments which haven’t been approved.
How to protect your personal reputation
Review sites and forums have become increasingly important in terms of how you manage your online reputation.
A 2014 Bright Local poll indicated that 88% of consumers now see online reviews as sources of information that are as trustworthy as personal recommendations. The first impression many people gain of you online may come from review sites such as ‘Peeple’, particularly if you’re a public figure. There are some simple ways to protect your reputation, and here are five tips:
- Develop online assets: Having a presence on social media profiles such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter will minimise the damage by review sites. Not only does it give people a better insight into your activity, but it also means negative sites won’t rank as highly in Google.
- Monitor: The best way to keep tabs on what people are saying about you is to regularly monitor online activity involving your name. You can use Google Alerts to make you aware of any moment someone mentions your name, or just do a simple search for your name in a private browsing mode. This will tell you which sites are ranking highly for your name and causing the most damage.
- Report: If any comments or reviews are defamatory or unsubstantiated, there are ways to protect your reputation. In some cases, you may be able to have the content removed by the site or hidden in the search rankings for your name by Google. You should always contact the user directly first for the swiftest course of action.
- Contest legally: If there are any accusations or comments which are inaccurate, defamatory or abusive then you may wish to take the legal route. You can challenge the user, or even the site itself if there’s a case to do so. Igniyte has the legal expertise to advise you on this route.
- Take it offline: Many problems online can generally be solved offline. Make sure your conduct offline is unquestionable and attempt to resolve any issues out of the realms of the online world. This is generally the quickest and most professional way to protect your personal reputation.