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Popular app rates a person's ugly factor, bullying experts concerned

Ugly_meter_appAn iPhone app that rates the ugliness of a face is catapulting up the charts following a radio mention – even though bullying experts are sounding the alarm.

Ugly Meter works by taking a picture of your face, and then scanning it for certain facial features. A green bar glides across the face, drawing polymetric shapes surrounding a person’s facial structure.

The app then produces a score out of ten on the “Ugly Meter.” And with this app, you’ll want to score like you do with golf: the lower the score, the better.

The Ugly Meter will also display corresponding messages based on the person’s ugly factor. Score 9.8/10? “You’re so ugly you could make a glass eye cry,” the app reads.

How about 2/10? “You’re so hot that you make the sun jealous,” was the message the Daily Mail received after testing the app out on a picture of Angelina Jolie.

The app has been around since November 2010, but a mention of the pro version on the Howard Stern radio show surged this app up the charts.

Within one day of the shock jock’s mention, sales earned the Arizona-based developer about $80,000.  Since then, that number has climbed to a half million dollars.

But it’s not entirely  as accurate as you imagine. The app handed Brad Pitt a dismal 8/10 on the ugly meter.

While the app appears to have been created in good fun, one expert has raised a red flag.

Cyber security author Dr. Gwenn O’Keeffe said the app “could have crushing blows on kids with low self-esteem.”

Is this Ugly Meter app taking things too far? Or is it just good fun?

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets



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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.