The danger of oversharing details of your current whereabouts on social media websites is being highlighted in a new website.
PleaseRobMe.com aggregates public Twitter feeds using Foursquare, a social networking game, to show when users are away from their homes. It can filter the search results by location or Twitter name.
The tongue-in-cheek website shows a feed with updates reading, “[Twitter username] left home and checked out” and a time frame.
An explanation on the site reads, “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. Because all this site is, is a dressed up Twitter search page. Everybody can get this information.”
While awareness of how your public information can be accessed is important, bloggers have voiced concerns that the website will encourage crime.
The website was created by three Dutch friends who were annoyed by people thoughtlessly broadcasting their whereabouts online.
“It started out as us being a little annoyed by people posting their locations all the time,” co-creator Boy van Amstel told The Montreal Gazette.
“It’s definitely not our intention to have anybody robbed, but it seemed to us like a thing that would catch the attention of a lot of people and make them think about what they’re putting on the Internet.”