An 'Ugly Meter' app for your iPhone is the latest craze among cyber-bullies. As if bullies needed another excuse to harass people, now this new 'Ugly Meter' iPhone app ratchets things up another notch.
The application, available for a 99-cent download at the Apple iTunes Store, lets you use your phone's camera and facial recognition software to assign values to a person's facial features. Basically the app scans a face and assigns a value, 1-10.
In a world of perfect 10's, that is the last thing you want to be. If you are a 10, you get a message like this: "You're so ugly, when you walk by the bathroom, the toilet flushes."
The creators of the app say "no harm, no foul." Critics are blasting the app, saying that it can lead people into making fun of others and is borderline offensive.
"I can see that the guys who programmed it were having a bit of fun and all," says Stephen Balkam, CEO of the Washington-based Family Online Safety Institute.
"If you're 25, 26 or 28, this sort of thing could be quite funny or amusing. But in the hands of a 14- or 15-year-old, it could be quite the reverse, and particularly if someone is submitting someone else's photograph and then circulated that photo around school."
You can see this now, some teenager thinks it is funny to pick on someone who gets a high "Ugly Meter" score. The score goes viral and the person who is being harassed is pushed over the edge and does something tragic.
So, is an app like 'Ugly Meter," completely insensitive? Has this crossed the line?