Facebook to remove stalker applications

16 March 2010

A suspected Facebook stalking man, ealier
The people behind Facebook have had enough applications that allow users to see who has been viewing their profile. They're so irritated by it that they're not just getting rid of them, but they're "aggressively disabling" them.

Is it me, or does threatening to 'aggressively disabling' sound a bit dodgy? Just me? Several variants of these "stalker apps" have appeared on Facebook in recent days seeing unwitting/witless users helping to spread rogue software by attempting to install it.

Among the applications that have now been given the heave-ho are "Stalker Check", and "Who has visited my profile". Quite why you'd want to see who has been visiting your profile is a bit of a mystery... but then again, why anyone would want to constantly bombard everyone else with stuff about shitty virtual farms and pretend Mafia turf wars is another complete baffler (and source of immense irritation).

In a statement, Facebook said: "Don't believe any applications that claim they can show you who's viewing your profile or photo. They can't."

Naturally, these apps have been created to make money for the designers by forcing would-be users to view advertising. That said, there's the chance that those who sign up could be redirected to sites containing viruses and malicious software.

Maybe Facebook should look into a system similar to Apple's App Store where everything that goes through the site should be vetted first. However, that seems unlikely.

Speaking to the BBC last March, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg said: "There will occasionally be some applications that people don't like. Our philosophy is that having an open system anyone can participate in is generally better."

[Newsbeat]

TOPICS:   Technology   Social Media   Privacy   Mobile

4 comments

  • Jase
    I can't figure out how these things could actually work. Data on profile visits (who, when, frequency etc.) isn't public-facing on Facebook is it? I've got a feeling they work on other data, data that is actually harvestable...comments and tags (image / status) are probably a decent source to fluff a stalker list.
  • steve
    most of them just pick random friends and if you run it again it will change the list
  • JP
    Steve - yep. What disturbs me is that one of the apps could not only grab your pic but also tag you against it thus making it look like you stalk your own sister (speaking from experience here). I've allowed my friends to see my pictures but no app should be allowed to auto-grab them and then auto-tag you to whatever freakish scenario it's libelled you into.
  • binita
    please remove s.talker

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