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Feb. 17 2010 - 2:33 pm | 1,788 views | 0 recommendations | 4 comments

‘Please Rob Me’ is a lawsuit waiting to happen

A new website wants to warn us about how exposed we are online. “Please Rob Me” is dedicated to making us realize how stupid it is to constantly update the world on exactly where we are at all times, via Twitter, FourSquare, and Facebook status updates:

Please Rob Me

The site aggregates Twitter and Foursquare announcements from people saying that they are away from their homes.

There are so many things wrong with this. Here are the first two that strike me:

1. This may all be a joke but it also seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen, if one of the people whose tweets feed through this site actually gets robbed. Serving them though would be difficult for the American set because the guys behind itBarry Borsboom and Frank Groeneveld — are based in the Netherlands (though a WhoIs.com search indicates they registered the site with a California address).

2. Really? Your stereotypical robber graphic for the site is a black guy? Thanks for further confirmation that racism in the Netherlands is on the rise.

Both Dutch creators are on Twitter — @frankgroeneveld and @m0nk — and they’re amused by the reaction to the site: Our little #pleaserobme project is going insane. Radio interviews, blogposts and it’s a twitter trending topic. I Love it!”


Comments

3 T/S Member Comments Called Out, 4 Total Comments
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  1. collapse expand

    If people are stupid enough to post highly detailed, sensitive, personal information online, in real-time, I for one say they deserve to be robbed.

    • collapse expand

      I don’t know uncertain. I like to think people that do stupid things deserve to drop bags of groceries and maybe get conked on the head by their brother, Moe. People who premeditate to make others vulnerable seem like more deserving victims of crime.

      Not that I’m advocating crime. I don’t even know the emoticon for “sombrero.”

      In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      No, they do not deserve to be robbed.

      Are they acting foolishly? Sure. Would you like to be treated with this kind of contempt every time you did something ignorant or foolish?

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        Let’s compare apples to apples, Jake.

        Nobody gets robbed _every_time_ they do something ignorant or foolish. Besides, I never said ignorant or foolish – I said “stupid”.

        However, if I decided to leave town for a week or two and put a giant, neon, flashing billboard in my front yard that advertised the fact I was out of town for two weeks, I think I could be reasonably certain that by the time I returned home, I will have been robbed at least once.

        Scale it down a notch and say I took out a small ad in a local newspaper that, again, advertised the fact that I was out of town for a week or two. Should I be any less surprised that I’ve been burgled at least once by the time I get back?

        Take it in another direction and sat I set up a domain name and start my own webpage that details my comings and goings throughout the weeks and months – when I go to work, when I get home, when I go to the Library or the gym, when I go on vacation… Freely available information for anybody that cares to look.

        Facebook is no different than that last example, other than they went through the trouble of setting up the domain for you.

        Is it ignorant? You could call it that, I suppose. Foolish? To be sure. But, the word that best describes the behavior I’ve just described is Stupid. Good, old-fashioned, no frills, down right stupid.

        Do I deserve to smash my thumb if I don’t look where I’m swinging my hammer?

        Do I deserve to go to jail if I break the law?

        Do I deserve to go without electricity or heat if I willingly neglect to pay my bills?

        Do I deserve to get robbed if I TELL THE WHOLE FUCKING WORLD THAT MY HOUSE IS GOING TO BE EMPTY FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS??

        You bet your ass I do.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
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    I am a writer, reporter, editor and blogger. I'm an editor at Above The Law, where I blog about lawyers, judges, law firms and the legal industry. Here at True/Slant, I write about our changing notions of privacy.

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