Users could assign a star rating and feedback to anyone they knew, positive or negative, and the rated could do very little about it.

Every negative review would have been live for at least 48 hours, and in order to remove them, an individual would be encouraged to contest a negative review, leading to accusations that the app would become a libellous quagmire and a harasser’s dream.

Following the criticism, Peeple’s website and social media feeds were blanked out, leading to speculation that the app was never going to see the light of day or even that the whole thing was a hoax. But instead, it looks like it’s still on-track to launch, even earlier than expected: the new website gives a date of 12 October for the app’s release.

But according to a posting on LinkedIn from the app’s developer, a former recruitment executive named Julia Cordray, the app that hit stores might be less controversial than what was previously announced: “You will NOT be on our platform without your explicit permission. There is no 48-hour waiting period to remove negative comments. There is no way to even make negative comments. Simply stated, if you don’t explicitly say ‘approve recommendation’, it will not be visible on our platform.”

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