Charles Strauss on Girls Around Me

Published on April 01, 2012

Charles Strauss on Girls Around Me



    English science fiction writer Charles Strauss expressed his opinion on the free application Girls Around Me , which recently appeared on iTunes. This very simple program by pressing the "radar" button shows photos and profiles of all the girls who are currently nearby. Information is pulled from Facebook and Foursquare.

    Charles Strauss does not agree with the opinion of observers that this program from the Russian company SMS Services just needs to be banned. According to him, the problem is actually deeper - in the wrong model of social relationships that Facebook promotes, and in essence people who consider it necessary to disseminate private information about themselves as widely as possible.

    Banning this innocent program is easy, says Charles Strauss. But the problem will remain. And if nothing is done with Facebook, then in the future we will see much more terrible programs that will kill people, sometimes in huge numbers. The simplest thing that comes to mind is the same program “Jews among us,” which modern neo-Nazis can use to carry out pogroms. In the same way, by pressing the "radar" the program will show all people of the wrong nationality with their current coordinates.

    Hiding information about nationality in the profile will not help, because technologies have already appeared to determine ethnicity by face . By the way, scientists are also working on an algorithm for determining the sexual orientation of a person by his social graph Facebook .

    One way or another, in the future, Facebook may automate the search for opponents for any kind of ethnic cleansing or political conflict, says Charles Strauss. For example, you can create such a program to search for and destroy the political opposition in the country. The police and special services can do nothing at all, just release a program indicating goals - and public activists from pro-government "popular" movements will do the rest.

    According to Charles Strauss, the problem is not in this particular program, but in "deploying profit-oriented corporations that use behavioral psychology techniques to persuade people to over-share personal information, which can then be aggregated and given to third parties for targeted marketing." If someone does not understand, we are talking about Facebook.