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Take this Lollipop scares social media oversharers

October 21st, 2011 by | No Comments

TakeThisLollipop shows the dangers of social media oversharing

Viral hit Take This Lollipop takes a look at the dangers of cyberstalking.

Privacy is among the many touchy subjects that loom the online world today. Every day, more and more people are entrusting their most precious data and photos to online platforms like cloud computing services, and social media sites. And as inherently valuable as the Web is, it’s littered with individuals, lurking around its tubes and looking for prey.

Whether it’s for monetary gain, or other malicious purposes, we have to assume that these individuals (and software) are up to no good so we need to keep our eyes peeled and be safe online. The latest interactive video from commercial video director Jason Zada alludes to a rather horrific scenario that may come as a result of unchecked oversharing, cyberstalking, and unsecured social media sites.

The video, located on www.takethislollipop.com, initially asks for you to enable its integration with Facebook. This is integral, as the disturbing parts of the video are the information directly scraped off your own social profile.

The video opens with a horror film staple: a shot of a house’s interiors, swimming in darkness amid rather ominous music. In the center of it is a man straight out of your childhood nightmares—the type you suspect would transform into a creature that lived in the darkest areas of the forest and lured children into their gastronomic doom. He sits alone in his heavily stained wifebeaters, and a manic glint in his eyes in front of a computer. Sweaty and unshaven, he digs his dirty fingernails into his keyboard, logging into Facebook and finds your social profile.

And after browsing through your list of friends, status updates, and various photos, he types in your location on Google Maps. His lips tighten with utmost intention while looking at the map to your place. The scene cuts to him driving his pick-up, splashes of his insanity mopping up the screen. Then a screen with a countdown that perhaps marks the time it’ll take for him to finally to you.

The entire feel of the video is absolutely eerie and is excellent; as in cinema quality. The same can be said for the actor. Both these factors, along with seeing your own profile, photos and location add to the effect that scared many of use who dared to venture to stake our claim of our little corner of the social Web.

Truth is, we don’t know yet what the motivations are behind the video. It could be created to spread awareness about the underbelly of the social Web, and to urge users to be constantly vigilant. Or it could be a successfully viral appeal commissioned by some brand, especially since Zada’s been known for producing ads on behalf of Office Max, Nike, Ray Ban and Adidas, among other popular companies.

The events Zada’s video allude to may sound too farfetched at the onset, but it’s not really so. The way people overshare, the insecurities that plague social media sites, along with the existence of cyberbullying, reports of predators prowling the social networks, and last year’s Craigslist killer‘s seven-day killing spree definitely bolsters that.

Unscrupulous individuals and their malicious software roam the Web, hoping to find cracks on unsecured Web services and scrape data for their own. And it really doesn’t help that current Web lifestyle seem to breed generations of oversharers, all willingly putting up their sensitive details and telling the world a little too much than it cares to find out.




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