UPDATED 13:53 EDT / OCTOBER 18 2011

NEWS

“Take This Lollipop” Puts the Fear of Social Media Sharing Into You

As All Hallow’s Eve quickly approaches at the end of this October month many television networks are already gearing up with fright weeks and horror movie marathons. As for social media, a new Facebook app at takethislollipop.com that asks you to “Take this lollipop. I dare you.” The site then asks for a lot of viewer permissions to your Facebook account (an immediate turn off for me) fortunately, you don’t have to go far to see how the app operates.

The app takes what you’ve shared on Facebook and splices it into a horror-style movie of a grubby, sweaty man gazing obsessively at your Facebook profile. In the background, extremely distorted ambient sounds gutter and gurgle with a high-pitched wine as he flips through your updates, videos, and pictures. The entire movie works its way through every latitude of creepy as he touches the screen, clicks his mouse, and finally pulls up a Google Map to where you live (or a suggestive interpretation of where you might life), gets in a dusty old truck, and drives.

The folks over at Forbes.com put a YouTube video up from a user named “Snow Ball” who decided to share the production he got from the site with the world. This way at least you don’t need to give this creepy app access to your account to see the end result:

By accepting this app, you give it access to the following:

  • Your profile info: birthday, location, relationship status and relationship details;
  • Your photos;
  • Friends’ locations;
  • Photos shared with you;
  • Videos shared with you.

Presumably this app is harmless and it’s quickly going viral; however it does send a powerful scaremongering message about how someone who gains access to your account can gather a lot of transparent knowledge about you.

It’s hard to tell if this app stands by itself (which it probably doesn’t) or if it’s the vanguard for a horror movie or a security company. Looking at the WHOIS results for the domain only reveals that they’re a happy Dreamhost customer who used their privacy guard—a fitting irony for an app that shows how you’re not private when you give away access to your information.

However, hiding in the code for the page might be a clue with a content type marked as “tv show.” So, perhaps “Take This Lollipop” is a stalking horse for an upcoming TV program that will either be a fictionalized account of how social media intersects with real life as a horror show or maybe it’ll be a TV series about privacy and what we give up when we go online.

It’s hard to say.

Although, the unspoken message from this scaremongering app seems to be pretty clear: Avoid friending grubby, sweaty psychotic men on Facebook!


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