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Ugly Meter App Not Sitting Pretty in Apple’s Store

Ugly Meter App Not Sitting Pretty in Apple’s Store

More and more, it seems there apps for every conceivable need, but also ones for things we could do without. In Apple’s app store is an app called the “Ugly Meter“ that scans your face and then assigns you a score of 1 to 10, with low scores meaning that you’re “winning.” If the app says you’re ugly, you’re roasted with such choice phrases as “When you walk past a bathroom, the toilet flushes.” It’s sophomoric humor for 99 cents but there is an uglier aspect to this. The app, which is rated “appropriate” for those 9 years and older, also has a “bully mode” that produces even more unsavory results.

While some say it’s just an app (made by the ironically named “Dapper Gentlemen”) and one that you can choose not to buy or use, parents and anti-bullying advocates have raised concerns:

Despite its crackling green simulated scan, the results appear to be random. In tests, the same face received rankings between 0.5 and 7 — a chair got a 7. Even as a joke or novelty app, some experts say its effects could be harmful, especially to those unaware that the app’s ratings are random.

“There’s a fine line between teasing and razzing one another … [This app] is just hurtful. It could have crushing blows on kids with low self-esteem,” Gwenn O’Keeffe, author of “Cybersafe: Protecting and Empowering Kids in the Digital World of Texting, Gaming and Social Media” (American Academy Of Pediatrics, 2010), said in a statement. “There’s just nothing good that could come from an app like this.”

The app has “hit #3 top paid and #3 top grossing” in Apple’s app store. Its creators say they made it just for fun but

“it ended up turning into a world wide crazy fest, thanks to a media system that likes to lie and overreact to get people’s attention.”

Certainly, if the “Ugly Meter” weren’t so popular, it would not have garnered the ire of parents, anti-bullying advocates and those in the lying/overreacting “media system.” The app’s popularity shows that, if you make software and games that send demeaning and hurtful messages, people will buy it. In other words, if you want to make a buck plus on your app, make one that’s demeaning and hurtful and if people buy it, it was their choice to do so, right?

But say you’re 9 years old and some other child has the “Ugly Meter” and uses it, and the 9-year-old gets told they could make a toilet flush by walking past it, and the 9-year-old laughs at herself because everyone else is? A middle school student could easily use the app to bully another student.

Sure, it’s just words on a software program but denigrating words can stick in one’s mind and fester.

Does Apple really need to be selling an app like the “Ugly Meter”?

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17 comments

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12:15PM PST on Dec 12, 2011

Apple is a company of whores, anything for a buck.

9:55AM PST on Dec 12, 2011

so they should screen apps made by other people for offensive ness?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ee32hCUZ8lU

4:58AM PST on Dec 10, 2011

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty extends past the surface. A person can have an attractive face, but be ugly personality wise. And likewise, an ugly person can be beautiful, if person has a great personality. Of course, those without wisdom and are too young to understand don't realize this. Kids and teens judge what's on the outside. And a lot of adults do too. This app is not an accurate indicator of ugliness. Unless it can get into your mind. Of course, you have the right to use it. Don't be superficial!!

3:53AM PST on Dec 10, 2011

it's stupid

1:44PM PST on Dec 9, 2011

THey are selling it because people without a life are stupid enough to buy it I imagine ; ))

11:47AM PST on Dec 9, 2011

Because Steve Jobs is no longer around? This is the new Apple their motives are not yet clear.

11:41AM PST on Dec 9, 2011

Apple is one of the worst corporate polluters on this planet. Owning an Apple product is a consumer's way of saying that they don't give a damn about the health of this planet or of the people who have to live with Apple's filth.

11:30AM PST on Dec 9, 2011

I dont care if it scanned my face and gave me a 20 XD, but I worry about kids using it to bully other kids. It already is tough for kids nowadays, so...having an app scan your face and rate your ugliness? Thats seriously not helping! :/

10:40AM PST on Dec 9, 2011

Mirror,mirror,on the wall,who is the fairest of them all? So the mirror lies. But no electronics here,just Witch-power. Well now there's the Virtual Pet too.
Thank you for the article...

8:01AM PST on Dec 9, 2011

This may be well and good in theory, but think of the harmful effects it may have on youths and those who have low-self esteem to begin with. I imagine that those who see no harm in this have likely not struggled with low self-esteem in their pasts. If they have, as I and millions of others have, they should not support such an unnecessary, 'mean' product.

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