OMG! Facebook just got a little bit creepier

As if Farmville and Mafia Wars weren't bad enough, somebody's evidently figured out a new way to harvest your personal information and annoyingly auto-update your status, and it is called "OMG! Look What happens when FATHER catches DAUGHTER on her WEBCAM!" I'll admit: I was intrigued enough to click on the link a FB friend posted in her status, mostly due to the teaser shot at right (what can I say?). But then it got weird. And then it got even weirder.

First, the link led me to an app, which asked me to authorize it to access my personal information before it would let me see the video. Sucker as I am for girls in short, Catholic-looking skirts, or belts that resemble skirts or whatever that thing is, I was tempted to just give in -- skeptical, but tempted -- until the final straw, when the app required me to let it update my own status with a link to the video and a little pre-written quip: "LOL. A lesson for all." One: Nobody updates my status but me, because people need to know when I am brushing my teeth, and they need to know it's for real -- I can't have the lies of impostors misinforming people as to my rigorous schedule of oral hygiene. Two: I do not dispense "lessons."

So instead I just Googled it, and it popped right up.

It was at that point that it got weird. I'm not going to show the video (ahem) because it's pretty NSFW -- but more than the partial nudity, I'm not going to show it because it's really creepy. Now, don't get me wrong: I appreciate softcore porn and a good, lulzy punchline as much as the next guy -- put them together? You've got a recipe for success. That's what attracted me to the video in the first place. Except for the punchline is not funny. More unsettling, really. You'd have to see the video to know what I'm talking about, maybe, but it looks like it's supposed to be funny like when Fred Flintstone gets really angry. In practice, it's more frightening like domestic violence.

Of course, you wouldn't know that if you agreed to update your status with the video in order to see it, at which point you would see it and realize you'd become an inadvertent endorser of an unsettling allusion to domestic violence. And that's pretty disappointing, because it's indicative of the kind of spam-produced-by-negligence problems that inspired everyone to stop caring about their MySpace profiles. Facebook could've been so much better, and for a while it was.

It still is, but privacy complaints are on the rise -- and though those complaints haven't necessarily been taken seriously by the average user, because people haven't really been affected by it yet, if the mounting forces of status-spam are any indication, they soon will be. And after that, to paraphrase Louis XV, the flood.

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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte