Created by concept and idea factory Forthehack, the
controversial project aggregates Twitter updates of people who use geolocation technology to let followers know where they are. It may not seem like a bad idea as the site essentially collects and shares information made public by its creators, but it does point out (by process of elimination and common sense) that those specific users are not home. Basically, advertising prime opportunities for followers to rob them, or at least rummage through their homes.
Forthehack says its only aim is to make people think about sharing certain information, which in its opinion, should be private, and build its brand through means of small hacks, the first of which is Pleaserobme.com.
A recent article on the Citizen Media Law Project suggests that Pleaserobme.com may present a new test of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Section 230(c)(1) provides immunity from liability for providers and users of an "interactive computer service" who publish information provided by others. In other words: "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."
This is potentially great news for Forthehack, knowing the law more or less weights in its favor. Under this pretense, they can get their message (and other future messages) across without being held liable for placing shared, public information into a thoughtful and ultimately innovative context.
Content contributed in part by Taren Fujimoto.