The "Break-up Notifier" Facebook application allows you to track the relationships of people that you know and receive an alert if and when they break up. Clever, but is that cool, or creepy Facebook stalking?
For the answer, it's best to ask the dude who made it. The app was created by software programmer Dan Loewenherz of Beverly Hills after getting the idea from his fiancée and her mother.
"I wasn't even sure if it would work at first ... Yesterday I submitted it to a bunch of friends on Facebook and it just exploded," Loewenherz told the New York Daily News. He said that the app only took him about four hours to create. Nevertheless, the app, which is free, has already attracted 100,000 users--in less than 24 hours. "I'm kind of shell-shocked," Loewenherz said.
But some are concerned that the "Break-up Notifier" could be used to encourage and facilitate Facebook stalking--or actual stalking, which is no laughing matter.
Stalking laws criminalize those who display a clear pattern of conduct such as following, harassing, or threatening another person, which caused the victim to fear for their safety. Stalking victims can usually obtain a restraining order or a protective order against their stalker.
However, Loewenherz hopes that the app will only be used for fun, not for any criminal activity.
"I think a lot of people out there think I'm some sort of weirdo Facebook stalker ... But I made this mostly as a joke and like I said before I'm just blown away how many people are using it," Loewenherz, a Yale graduate, told the New York Daily News.
- New Facebook "Breakup Notifier" App Takes the Fun Out of Friend-Stalking (PCMAG)
- California Stalking Laws (FindLaw)
- Felony Stalking (FindLaw Answers)