“Bang With Friends” Not So Discreet

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If social networking and the web have accomplished anything, they’ve given us a quick and easy way to find those like ourselves based on interests, geographic location, relationship status, and the list continues. However, considering those factors and the wide variation of social venues, some specialized for business, some focusing on the obscure, one thing is certain, we can always look to human vices to create a certain amount of innovation and taboo. Case in point, if not for online vices or dating, the world would probably include a much smaller selection of web cams. Likewise, online merchants might have less secure credit card verification algorithms as both of the previously mentioned found invention within the racy dark corners of the web. So in the true spirit of new innovation and the controversial, make way for “Bang With Friends”.

If you are over thirty, you will probably never hear of, use, or know anyone using “Bang With Friends”,  a casual sex cultivation app released earlier this month (Feb-2013) which according to the publisher is registering thousands of new users per day. The app utilizing Facebook’s friend platform promises discretion as users select individuals from their friends list that they secretly desire to engage in sex. Likewise, others begin to use the software and make their own selections for suitable mates until both sides have agreed, the interested parties then receive an email notification which announces the other users want to hook up. Unfortunately, there’s a massive problem, Facebook’s new graph search.

In a nutshell, graph search makes quick work of finding significant information about your friends and others in a real language structure that truth be told is so amazingly powerful it is a bit frightening.  From the search box a lookup for, “People who are friends of John Smith” produces all of John Smith’s friends; considerably benign. However, those searching for specifics such as, “People who are friends with John Smith and like camping” or “People who are friends of John Smith and use Bang With Friends”, one will quickly see a “uh oh” list of those seeking casual sex.  

 “Assuming most people will take the high road, anyone can use Facebook’s new search tool to gather info on friends, family, fans, customers or competitors. The dark side here is that a sex based app coupled with such powers search brings out an underbelly of pedophiles, predators, black mailers and the like. The conditions become ideal for social offenders.” said Sean McCoy founder of Social Offender, a reporting repository that scores online social personas such as screen names, handles, or email addresses like a consumer credit report.  

McCoy’s son who was the victim of an online predator (http://www.socialoffender.com/about.html) has taken online social misdeeds seriously. “It’s unfortunate that using apps like this imply privacy which is simply an illusion. The powder keg is when less than admirable users use the technology as a weapon. The escalations that follow are often extremely dangerous, horrific, and litigious for everyone.” continued McCoy.

Horrific indeed as a recent lawsuit against Match.com claims the company has a level of responsibility in a murder attempt when Kay Beckman, a site member, was stabbed ten times by a person she met via the dating service. Match.com has responded, calling the lawsuit itself, “absurd” but at the same time offers condolences to Beckman and the unfortunate nature of the incident.

In today’s socially wired world, involvement in discussions or commenting on photos of kittens might seem harmless but doing this we do offer ourselves up to a level of exposure with each kilobyte of information posted. As privacy intrusions become more common, modern ethos becomes desensitized putting less and less focus on each occurrence in the name of progress or national security. Unfortunately for the users of “Bang With Friends”, they are exposing intensely personal information and their deepest personal desires for others which can be catastrophic even when done in fun or for fantasy; beware.

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