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Just in time for Respect Life month, an app that slaps life in the face

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 10/09/15


A truly repellent idea:

Wannabe tech entrepreneurs Julia Cordray and Nicole McCullough haven’t even launched their first app yet, and they’ve already achieved international fame … for all the wrong reasons.  Dubbed the ultimate “Mean Girls” by their growing army of critics, the pair have gone into near-hiding this week after people all over the world reacted with outrage to the announcement of their soon-to-drop app, Peeple.  Before its creators pulled down its webpage late last week, Peeple promised to do for individuals what Yelp has done for businesses: Either make them more popular or utterly ruin their reputations based on ratings and “user reviews” from others who interact with them.  According to interviews with Cordray, the product was inspired by a dilemma McCullough faced upon moving into a new neighborhood with her small children: With so many strangers around, how was she supposed to tell which ones she should talk to … and which ones she should avoid? Sure, there are sex offender apps that can tell you if a nearby stranger might actually be dangerous, but what about all the other stuff? “Character is Destiny,”Peeple’s early advertising reminded us, and as envisioned by its creators, the app would give you all the juicy details — the good, the bad, and the ugly — about the character and personality of anyone you might meet, crowdsourced (at least theoretically) from people who actually know them. “We want to know: ‘did he steal from you? Did she steal from you? Were they abusive? Um … do they have anger issues? Do they lie all the time? Are they narcissistic?’ I mean, these are the things that are more valuable in knowing versus little egocentric things,” Cordray said in a webisode of the duo’s online reality show documenting the creation of the app.

“People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions,” she further explained, in an interview with theWashington Post. “Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?”

Read more.

Meantime, it appears the app is going forward—but with a different slant:

In a new Thursday LinkedIn post, the CEO of Peeple—the app originally conceived to be a “Yelp for people”—now says she’s hiring another executive, indicating that the company is moving forward. The apparent goal is to become the “World’s Largest Positivity app.” “We look forward to our new CTO helping to transition our company and position it for maximum growth,” Julia Cordray wrote today. Cordray went on to admit that the company’s original policies, which allowed anyone to review anyone else, “were ill conceived.”

Gee, you think?

Let this serve as a timely reminder that October is Respect Life month—and the U.S. bishops have taken steps to underscore the fact that creating a culture of life extends to all aspects of life:

One of the deepest desires of the human heart is to discover our identity. So often, as a society and as individuals, we identify ourselves by what we do. We base our worth on how productive we are at work or at home, and we determine our lives to be more or less good depending on the degree of independence or pleasure. We may even begin to believe that if our lives, or those of others, don’t “measure up” to a certain standard, they are somehow less valuable or less worth living. Respect Life Month is a fitting time to reflect on the truth of who we are. Our worth is based not on our skills or levels of productivity. Rather, we discover our worth when we discover our true identity found in the unchangeable, permanent fact that we are created in God’s image and likeness and called to an eternal destiny with him. Because of this, absolutely nothing can diminish our God-given dignity, and therefore, nothing can diminish the immeasurable worth of our lives. Others may fail to respect that dignity—may even try to undermine it—but in doing so, they only distance themselves from God’s loving embrace. Human dignity is forever. Whether it lasts for a brief moment or for a hundred years, each of our lives is a good and perfect gift. At every stage and in every circumstance, we are held in existence by God’s love.

If you want to be truly pro-life, and create a culture of life, honoring and respecting the dignity of another is very good place to begin.

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