Outrage over Alleged Stalker App ‘Girls Around Me’

Melissa Knowles
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A controversial smartphone application is being pulled from the Apple App Store. The "Girls Around Me" app combines the location sharing network Foursquare with Facebook to tell users where girls or guys are checked in nearby using real-time GPS location data. "Girls" goes a step further by connecting the user to publicly available Facebook profiles of the people they spot so they can learn more details about them.

According to PC World, one blogger who tested the "Girls Around Me" app was able to learn a woman's full name, age, birthday, marital status, where she went to school and her parents' names by scanning her Facebook photos.

Online people are outraged, calling the app "horrible"  and many people are criticizing the app saying it is geared toward stalkers and invades peoples' privacy. One person tweeted, that app is "one of many legitimate reasons not to ever use Facebook, Foursquare." The individuals who are yielded in the results are unaware they are being tracked and do not have the ability to opt-in or opt-out.

However, there is no need to get too worried if you are on Foursquare. It has officially banned the app from gaining access to its server, saying it is in violation of its policies relating to API (application program interface). SMS Services, the creator of "Girls Around Me" dismisses the stalking comparisons and says it plans to reintroduce the app in the future.


The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication is giving in to the almighty power of spell check. UNC is revamping the spelling portion of a mandatory grammar and spelling test that students have been required to take since the 1970s. Administrators say they're making the changes to adapt to changing times in the journalism industry.

Senior associate dean Chris Roush said, "What we're trying to do is just make the exam more relevant for today's journalism and mass communication students." Currently, the test is offered as part of the university's news writing course. When the 2012-2013 school year is over, the test will be offered weekly in the student's records office. Administrators hope this will encourage students to take the exam earlier in their academic career, and they will have fewer second-semester seniors trying to complete and pass the exam in order to graduate.

Some students think the spelling portion still has a place on the test and that people should not just rely on spell check to catch their mistakes. According to The Daily Tar Heel, Nicole Yang, a senior journalism major at UNC, said that "you can't rely on technology to fix everything for you."

The new version of the exam will focus more on the correct usage of words such as the often misused "they're" "their" and "there." If the new focus of the exam works as expected, future graduates will learn that technology helps, but you have to rely on your own knowledge and education.