Ugly Meter iPhone App Raises Cyberbullying Concerns (PICTURES)
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The Ugly Meter, an iOS application available for 99 cents, is causing quite a stir this week. The app, which rates one's facial features based on proportionality, scores faces from 1 to 10 and delivers a snappy quip about the face's "ugliness." The higher the score, the uglier the face--in theory, at least.
Dapper Gentlemen, the creator of the app, seems to have taken liberties with the rating system. For example, the Daily Mail scanned a photo of Brad Pitt and watched as the Hollywood hunk scored an 8 out of 10 on the Ugly Meter. According to the app, Brad Pitt "could walk through a haunted house and come out with a paycheck."
Joshua Rhett Miller, writing for FoxNews.com, explains the concerns that this app raises:
While the app's creators say they're just having some fun, some critics say the software can be malicious in the wrong hands. It's "right on the borderline" of appropriate and inappropriate, said Stephen Balkam, CEO of the Washington-based Family Online Safety Institute.
"I can see that the guys who programmed it were having a bit of fun and all," Balkam said. "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."
Dr. Gwenn O'Keeffe, author of "Cybersafe: Protecting and Empowering Kids in the Digital World of Texting, Gaming and Social Media," went a step further in her critique, recommending that Apple remove the Ugly Meter from its iTunes app store. "There's a fine line between teasing and razzing one another," O'Keeffe told FoxNews.com. "[This app] is just hurtful. It could have crushing blows on kids with low self-esteem. There's just nothing good that could come from an app like this."
Nevertheless, the Ugly Meter app is still available from iTunes. Do you think Apple should ban the app? View screenshots (below) to see how "ugliness" is rated, and shared your thoughts in the comments below. Then check out our slideshow of the most outrageous apps banned by Apple (here).