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Twitter A Tool For Thieves?

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[ Social Media]

Some small alarms have been raised over the possibility that Twitter and social media like it could be used as information sources for those with nefarious purposes.

Picture this: You’re at Starbucks enjoying a half-and-half grande mocha, or whatever, and you thumb as much into your WiFi-connected PDA, updating Twitter of your current occupation. “At a global coffee chain, working on my novel, just so everybody can see that I’m working on my novel.” Bang. The bad guys know where you are and what you’re doing and rob your house. Or, bang. Your girlfriend’s husband shows up and clobbers you with your own MacBook Air. 

If you’re creative enough, you can think of a thousand scenarios that turn out poorly. Of course this is the fault of Twitter, and not the guy broadcasting his exact whereabouts to all of his followers.

These concerns have been raised, as Mike Masnick notes, on the heels of a bank robbery involving Craigslist. The robber used Craigslist to promise jobs to people and told them to show up outside a bank in a specific uniform. He wore the same thing and robbed the bank, creating a fine sense of confusion. (Hey, maybe penalties for bank robberies should depend on how creative the dude was robbing it. The Craigslist guy gets off light cuz that was pretty brilliant.)

Masnick also mentions how answering machines were once also feared as a broadcast to whomever called that nobody was home. It’s not quite the same because, unless consciously creating a diversion via Twitter, it was obvious pretty quickly that an answering machine was a nice way of lying without saying a word.

Still, in reality, whoever is about to rob you or beat you to a pulp, likely already knows if you’re home or not. 
 

Twitter A Tool For Thieves?
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  • Guest

     

    Lol. This is funny but true. I am uncomfortable to let the world know everything I am doing. Oh yeah. There will be other similar and strange stories in the future. Let’s wait and see.
  • http://truenito.blogpsot.com Rogelio

    These scenarios of course apply only to those loners who have no social life whatsoever… and for the mischievous ones who get tempted by the fruit of another. It is not the fault of Twitter… it’s the behaviour of the individual that sets the stage.

    And the Craigslist scenario… thief could have used classifieds on the daily newspaper as well. Should we put the blame on the newspaper for that?

  • Brian

    Not sure I follow exactly how this is Twitter’s fault; that someone is stupid enough to post their exact whereabouts in real-time, all the time, is the equivalent of standing outside your house in a busy suburb telling your neighbor (in a nice, loud voice), “Hey, me and the wife are gonna be in California for the next week. We left the spare key under the back mat, though, so you can water the plants.”

    At some point, people have to take responsibility for their own actions (or, yes, stupidity), rather than finding someone else to blame.

    • http://vaguevagaries.blogspot.com Exolon

      ‘Not sure I follow exactly how this is Twitter’s fault; that someone is stupid enough to post their exact whereabouts in real-time, all the time, is the equivalent of standing outside your house in a busy suburb telling your neighbor (in a nice, loud voice), "Hey, me and the wife are gonna be in California for the next week. We left the spare key under the back mat, though, so you can water the plants."’

      That’s the point he was making. He used a technique often referred to as ‘sarcasm’, which you may have heard of…?

      • sarcasmMyLeftFoot

         Really?

  • Charleaux

    I was messing around and I accidentally a WHOLE coca cola bottle, lol. What should I do?

     

    Is this bad? y/n!

    • Guest

      I accidentally a whole also!  WTF!  This is an epidemic.

  • Guest

    From Twitter’s website: "What Are You Doing?". One of the main functions of Twitter is to allow people to let others know what they’re doing.

    I think the real question is "Do we really need to be this connected?"

  • Bubba Man

    There is only one weapon and it resides bewteen your ears.

    Everything Else is just a tool.

    Any criminal with enought brain cells to rub together will be using all of the tools he can (many of which we have not yet thought of).

    Deal with it.

    -Bubba

     

  • N8

    …it’s called paranoia.  If someone is going to cause harm to themselves or others, THAT is the problem.  I’m not going to let fear ruin my life just because something bad could happen to me.  Let’s weed out those who would harm us rather than put ourselves each in our own jail cell for safety.  If we can’t trust each other, let’s fix it so that we can!  I’ll stop ranting.

  • http://www.theprofessorpresents.com BigTreez

    Why don’t the people who use this "Social Netwoking" crap get a life and meet some real friends or something… Instead of worrying what kind of  trouble there blogging or facebooking or twittering will get them into. Whatever happened to the phone? It’s a great tool and you people all need to get a life, for real!

    Lame assholes.

    BigTreez

  • Family

    When the government and big organisations log your whereabouts with the use of credit cards etc this is known as Big Brother.

    So is the use of presenting your whereabouts on Twitter like interfaces LittleBrother or just plain stupid?

  • Guest

    Yawn!!!!!  Must be a slow news day,

     

  • http://scottydees.com Guest

    It’s to be expected theres too much money to be made.

  • http://www.parents-and-kids.com Cana

    I think most people using Twitter just want to write something they want to share with somebody.

  • Guest

    Whats the point of navigating to the comment box when we havent seen the detail of the article

     

    DUH

  • http://jumbocdinvestments.com/cd_rates_bog CD Rates Blog

    First, I have also noticed the annoying tendency for the page to jump down to the comments.  I really do want to read the article.  I’ve noticed a few others making the same comment.  Maybe it is a browser problem.  I’m still using IE6.

    Secondly, evil will always find a way.  It isn’t Twitter’s, Craiglist’s, etc. fault.  The people using it should use some common sense.

     

  • http://spruiked.com/blog Brett

    It probably wouldn’t hurt for Twitter to have "guidelines" for new users, so some poor unsuspecting fool doesn’t share his credit card number with the world. We might think it’s stupid and unnecessary, but I wonder how many people really understand how many people can read their tweets?

    PS Twitter probably has user guidelines…