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PleaseRobMe Wakes Up Overzealous Twitter Users

pleaserobme
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Sharing every detail of your life with the Internet isn’t always the best idea. Besides getting you into hot water with your parents, in-laws, boss and all other matters of people you wish weren’t following your every move – see Lamebook – location-aware tweets have their own drawbacks: Wherever you are, we know you’re not home.

Hence the purpose of PleaseRobMe. The provocative new site aggregates public Twitter feeds that use Foursquare, a social networking game that people use to announce where they are when they head out on the town… and implicitly, have homes ready to be burglarized. Typing in a specific city will show a constant feed of just who in your city is bumbling around town.

While the site dresses itself as a service for would-be burglars, the creators claim the real purpose is simply to let people know how their information could be misused. “Here we are; on one end we’re leaving lights on when we’re going on a holiday, and on the other we’re telling everybody on the internet we’re not home,” the site states. “The goal of this website is to raise some awareness on this issue and have people think about how they use services like Foursquare, Brightkite, Google Buzz etc.”

In other words, tough love. Is PleaseRobMe providing a genuinely useful service by opening eyes, or has it just called encouraged even more people to exploit an otherwise tiny loophole? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Nick Mokey
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