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February 22, 2010 | by  | in News | [ssba]

FourSquare raises questions, lolly mix prices


The line between social networking and social OCD seem to be getting blurred, with the latest fadsite FourSquare. FourSquare is a location-based social networking site that lets a user share their location, by ‘checking in’ every time they arrive at a new location. Users earn badges for checking in at various locations. Those participants that check in most can become a venue’s ‘mayor.’

FourSquare has been embraced by the corporate world in America, where they offer incentives for users who check in to their particular business.

While this trend has been slow to catch on in New Zealand, Mojo offers a free coffee for every fifth check in a person makes.

However, the amount of information users are willing to share with the world is raising concern. To highlight the potential issues with this information overshare, a group has developed the site, which streams every update showing a FourSquare user leaving their home. says the danger lies in telling people where you are, or more importantly, where you are definitely not: at home.

From the website: “So 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. It gets even worse if you have ‘friends’ who want to colonize your house. That means they have to enter your address, to tell everyone where they are. Your address…on the internet”.

Netsafe Development Manager Sean Lyons says the website is a good wake-up call for users who are not security aware.

“Internet security commentators have warned about the risk of the internet shadow that users create, and the snippets of information that can be pieced together.

“This site [] seems like that on amphetamines.

“You wouldn’t shout your private information across a crowded café, so why do it online? People need to utilise some real world sensibilities online,” he says.

Lyons says while social networking site users can set profiles to private, their friends may not have the same respect for their privacy and share that information.

“While it is great that you can keep up with your friends in real time, people really need to consider if the benefit of sharing their every move outweighs the potential consequences. It’s a matter of finding the balance.”


About the Author ()

News Editor and Chief Editor-Annoyance. Thinks you should volunteer to write news. Is easily distracted by shiny things.

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  1. Raptor says:

    Sarah Robson is currently in the Salient office. Break into her home and steal her cheese.

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