There has been an outpouring of social media outrage over the yet-to-be-released Peeple App, a Yelp-like rating system for individuals. Unfortunately, not all of that outrage was directed at the right target.
Chris Chuter, the inventor of an Internet-enabled peephole for doors, has been reciving scores of hate-filled tweets and emails. Why? Because his product, which is actually pretty awesome, is also named Peeple.
“This was supposed to be our moment in the sun,” Chuter told Wired. “We just won a major competition … then this happened yesterday and completely swallowed up our press. Our branding is in tatters.”
For the most part, Chuter claims the misguided email complaints he’s been reciving have been civil. However, social media is another matter.
@peephome Just close up shop. Everyone pre-hates you except the psycho ex-bf stalker demographic— Greg “wishes they’d ban Nazis already” Stolze (@GregStolze) October 1, 2015
@peephome Wow. It must genuinely suck to be you guys right now. Sorry I got confused… but you’re probably going to see a lot of it.— Greg “wishes they’d ban Nazis already” Stolze (@GregStolze) October 1, 2015
Chuter’s company is trademarked in the U.S., so it is illegal for another U.S. company to use the name Peeple. However, the creators of the Peeple App applied for a trademark in Canada, which complicates the matter.
“These women are funded, I think,” Chuter said in regard to the creators of the app. “They should be able to search trademarks and figure that out.”
But despite the unwarranted negative attention his company is receiving, Chuter has vowed to stick with his current name and make the best of a bad situation.
“We are not changing our name,” Chuter told Wired. “And we’re not going anywhere.”