Monday, June 18, 2012

findavictim.com

The media appear to be working their way up to a full-on hand-wringing over the news that the kind of people who use "Does this taste like Rohypnol to you?" as a pickup line have discovered social media "location apps". Wow. Who could have seen that coming?

The internet itself has already made dodging stalkers or creepy exes a colossal pain in the butt, at least for those of us who remember the good old days of 'move and get an unlisted phone number and you're done,' but the idea of voluntarily tagging yourself like a migrating harp seal? Unbelievable.

When I first heard of these apps that would basically broadcast your age, sex, relationship status, favorite color, GPS location, and how long you'd been standing there in the bar parking lot fumbling in your purse for your car keys, I couldn't believe that anybody thought they were a good idea.

I mean, seriously, unless your name is Chris Hansen, the only use for these programs is to basically yell "Yoo-hoo! Beastie! Come and eat me!" I toyed with the idea of setting up a bogus profile as a 22-year-old named Tiffani-with-an-"i" myself, but figured that I'd run afoul of the Department of Natural Resources for hunting over bait.

 Look, these apps are nothing but digitally-enabled takeout menus for that "It puts the lotion on its skin" guy from Silence of the Lambs. Are people really this dumb?

40 comments:

Josh K. said...

Yes!

Turk Turon said...

I COL'd!
(Cackled Out Loud)
Full-on, Mad Scientist style.
"Hunting over bait."

Borepatch said...

It' a personalized, portable American Idol.

"Me! Look at mw!"

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Heck, I don't even like the idea of using the "I'm here/checked in" function in Facebook or Google+, and that only goes to the people you've intentionally allowed to see your business (and in G+ you can restrict it to certain subsets), and only when you do it intentionally. I've done it once or twice, but I had to think about it first. I certainly won't ever make a habit out of it, and I just don't understand the people who will let an app do that automatically. WTF?

Anonymous said...

Yes, they really are that dumb.
Miss V

JD Rush said...

Well, if Tiffani with an i had a burner phone with internet, how could it be traced back......
50 or so tweets with #sowasted or #gonnasleepitofinmycar might be a tip off, though.
Not that I'd ever put any thought into this myself. Pure wargaming....

Pakkinpoppa said...

Tiffani. With an "i".

With the "Smart" phones having dumb users, people posting the whole "I'm out and not at home" to facebook or better, the whole "I'm plowed and think my friend took off with that guy she was eye-f*@king most of the night".

It's a tossup between those posts and the folk too lazy to cut up the box their new 48" plasma screen TV came in, they just stick it next to the recycle bin.

Yes, yes, people are that dumb.

The Freeholder said...

Tam, it's not exactly that these kids are that dumb. They have, to us, an utterly alien take on things like privacy and security. Most don't seem to believe in the former or understand the later. I know it took me a while with my daughter to get her worldview to come around to what I see as reality (close brush with a nutso boyfried helped out dramatically); I'm still working on my son. Luckily, he doesn't do social media.

Jay G said...

Pakkinpoppa,

I brought our TV box to my gun club. Solves two problems: 1. It's not out in front of my house on trash broadcasting "break into this house", and 2. Provides a LOT of target hangin' material.

Win-Win!

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Jay: I just stuck the box in my attic, so I still have it several months later. You've given me a great idea, thanks!

I usually just use pizza boxes and my homemade PVC target stand.

Joel said...

Mmmm. Pizza.

One person's dream is another's nightmare, I guess. These kids probably saw all the same dystopian movies I have, where the hero and/or heroine have to hack locator chips out of their own flesh with kitchen knives to escape the Big Bad. But in the case of the kids, they apparently finish the movie thinking, "That would be rilly kewl, y'know?"

rickn8or said...

"hunting over bait."

More like shooting feral pigs or rats at the dump.

And I'm starting to think a little tinge of paranoia may be a healthy thing.

The Quiet Man said...

Are people really this dumb?

I'm afraid they're far dumber than even you imagine. Society has not gotten to this place overnight nor by accident.

docjim505 said...

The Freeholder - [I]t's not exactly that these kids are that dumb. They have, to us, an utterly alien take on things like privacy and security. Most don't seem to believe in the former or understand the later.

I agree.

I suggest that this is the result of excessive molly-coddling: when they grow up thinking that every problem can / will be solved by telling teacher, they sort of lose not only the need but the ability to look after their own security and well-being.

I don't suggest that we teach kids to go through life as scared rabbits, but perhaps "wise sheepdogs" might be a desirable standard.

Rob K said...

It's been my observation that throughout history, people on average tend to be as stupid as they can afford to be and still reproduce. In this day and age, that threshold is pretty low.

Anonymous said...

W00t! for the "Bored of the Rings" reference!
Yes, they're that dumb/permanently in Condition White. But we knew that, these are the same sheeple who think "No Icky Weapons" signs will protect them.
Drang
Via Portable Magic Elf Box.

Ambulance Driver said...

I do a lecture about social media pearls and pitfalls for EMS providers. One of the things I tell them is, "If you're going to blog or post about work, turn off the geotagging services on all your devices."

You'd be shocked and dismayed at how many EMT's don't even consider that posting, "Whoa, transporting a dood with a Chihuaha stuck in his rectum!" plus "John EMT just checked in at Mercy General ER on Foursquare" just came dangerously close to revealing enough information to identify a patient.

Idiots are everywhere.

leBolide said...

I tried reading the article on my iPad, but the page changed size/layout 3 times before I could get through the first two paragraphs, and then a full-size overlay popped up saying I'd have to wait 15 seconds and decide whether to get the CNN app before it would let me through, so I gave up.

However, your subject reminded me of Girls Around Me:
http://www.cultofmac.com/157641/this-creepy-app-isnt-just-stalking-women-without-their-knowledge-its-a-wake-up-call-about-facebook-privacy/

Stretch said...

If stupidity were painful the screams would be deafening.

Tam said...

Drang,

"W00t! for the "Bored of the Rings" reference!"

And w00t! for everyone who caught it! :)

CarlS said...

On a lighter note, I know Tiffani. Several of them in this neighborhood. Myself, I think Tamara is a more attractive and appealing name. Not to mention that it's also - in my mind - associated with the idea of a sexy, intelligent, self-reliant woman, rather than some fluffy-headed teenager.

Tam said...

leBolide,

"However, your subject reminded me of Girls Around Me:
http://www.cultofmac.com/157641/this-creepy-app-isnt-just-stalking-women-without-their-knowledge-its-a-wake-up-call-about-facebook-privacy/
"

Holy. Dogshit.

I'm not often at a loss for words, but it's gonna take me a bit to really process that one.

Erin Palette said...

I'm not often at a loss for words, but it's gonna take me a bit to really process that one.

Really? Huh. I thought you knew about it and were intentionally referring to it without naming names.

Randy said...

More oblivious than dumb I think. For that reason i predict that soon you will see a lawsuit basically claiming that the site didn't protect the information from bad guys. You know, somebody ELSE should have seen the problem with providing target data to predators.

Pakkinpoppa said...

"Pakkinpoppa,

I brought our TV box to my gun club. Solves two problems: 1. It's not out in front of my house on trash broadcasting "break into this house", and 2. Provides a LOT of target hangin' material.

Win-Win!"

Now that's a brilliant idea!
If someone sees you with the cardboard, they A) know you have a gun and B) you can always claim you picked it up from the recycle bin. Unless that is crime in People's Soviet of Massachusetts, Da?

Darrell said...

"Yoo-hoo! Beastie! Come and eat me!" Dang, Drang beat me to it. :P LOL Was PJ O'Rourke one of the authors, back in the Harvard Lampoon days? I speak of Bored Of The Rings, of course. I still have a copy around here somewhere.

Anonymous said...

"Update 6: Girls Around Me’s developer gave Cult of Mac an interview, in which they said that the app wasn’t for stalking girls without their knowledge, but for avoiding women who are ugly."

Like that makes it better???

Britt said...

"Update 6: Girls Around Me’s developer gave Cult of Mac an interview, in which they said that the app wasn’t for stalking girls without their knowledge, but for avoiding women who are ugly."

Like that makes it better???

____

Doesn't it?

/Sterling Archer

Anonymous said...

Francis Dolarhyde would find the victim selection process much simpler, these days.

Drang said...

Darrell: Yes, the man Tam has referred to as her "dream date" did help write Bored of the Rings. That's why I w00ted the reference, and didn't say "Holy *&(*^, someone else who read...!" I took it as given that she had...

Darrell said...

LOL Here's a little bit of creepy--I was born in the same hospital as Francis Dolarhyde. Seriously.

MSgt B said...

"digitally-enabled takeout menus for that "It puts the lotion on its skin" guy from Silence of the Lambs."

You owe me a keyboard.

Tam said...

Britt,

"Doesn't it?

/Sterling Archer
"

Your internets is in the mail.

Trent said...

OTOH while clearly creepifying, does anyone know of any cases where actual real life folks have be molestified because someone who they didn't actually know was tracking them via the stalker net?

Rodger the Real King of France said...

this sent my mind racing tam. maybe someone can find the quote for me, I've tried and failed, but the gist is "they'll take your freedom and you'll pay them to do it." Because that's what's happened. remember, pick any technology you want, and the government is using it. with this lot, that's a very,very bad thing.

Tam said...

Trent,

"does anyone know of any cases where actual real life folks have be molestified because someone who they didn't actually know was tracking them via the stalker net?"

That's complicated by a lot of factors. Among them:
1. It's pretty new.
2. How would you know?
3. There are plenty of instances of criminals using everything from Craigslist to bogus FB profiles to facilitate crimes of the sex kind as well as plain ol' theft and swindling and whatnot. I don't see why this particular form of technology would be exempt from that.

cj said...

Reminds me of a new 'pinterest' style website for firearms enthusiasts. Of course their T&C admonish you to honestly provide information, which includes full name and hometown. Which it then attaches to each of your posts. So I tested this on a couple of older guys who are competitive shooters (so I figure have lots of nice stuff) and found their addresses and phone numbers in about 2 minutes.

The owners (who claim to be law enforcement) didn't seem to see a problem with this, but did agree to let me list my location as Timbuktu without getting kicked off.

Windy Wilson said...

I have caught a lot of guff for not being into Facebook. I attributed this to my age and being a lawyer, but maybe Mrs. Wilson just didn't raise any fools.

"Girls Around You." OMFG This is just encouraging stalker behavior.

Pakkingpappa --"you can always claim you picked it up from the recycle bin. Unless that is crime in People's Soviet of Massachusetts."
Well, in the People's Soviet of California they have laws against scavenging, which includes picking stuff out of the recycle bin, so I can only assume the PSoM has a similar law, which they would be only too happy to enforce against someone who put holes in cardboard in a socially unacceptable manner.

Trent said...

@Tam,

Fair enough.
And my FB account is locked down tighter than Barry O's college transcripts.
But I hear a lot of "THEY ARE GONNA KEEEEL UUU" over the social media stuff and tend to see a dearth of slaughtered dippy co-eds as a result of their FB posts.

Jennifer said...

My Dad gave all three of his daughters cheerleader names. In order, Kelli, Tiffani, and me. Yeah, I spell the shortened form with an i. I refuse to dot it with a heart, however.