Hailed as a rapist and stalker’s haven, “Girls Around Me” is not only a creepy app in its concept, it enables iPhone and android users to track nearby women based on their geographic location. Initially, the information was aggregated from check-ins through Facebook and Four Square, and perhaps what made it the creepiest app, and why it was being called the “stalking app,” is because if a user of the app liked what he initially saw about a girl, he could see more information about her as pulled from her Four Square account and Facebook link, including more photos of her.
It’s worth noting that 4 Square blocked the app, and in fact the Girls Around Me app was yanked from the app store, earlier this year, but there is no telling how many already had the app, and those with jailbroken phones may still be able to download it from various repositories. It works by opening the app and allowing the app to locate where you are, from there it will show where the girls nearest to you are located by showing little thumbnail pictures of them on a map. If you like what you see, you can tap on the picture and see more pictures and information about the girl and a link to her Facebook page.
But not to worry, insists the app’s creator, their intentions were entirely harmless and not to create a stalking app. They were just simply aiming to help guys on the prowl avoid the ugly girls. Says Girls Around Me product lead, Vlad Vishnyakov, “Imagine: you want to choose a place to spend an evening – I bet you’d prefer a place full of nice people (not ugly or rude), – you might want to find a male company to watch box match in a sport bar, or look for a club where there are many girls (what’s the point to go to an empty club, anyway?). If so, you can use foursquare app or website – pick a venue, see the list of people attended, check photos and may be explore their interests on Facebook.”
But it’s hard to explain away the app as being a noble one, intended simply to help you avoid offensive ugly people and find boxing-watching buddies, when the app is called “Girls Around Me” and features a splash screen with neon green mud flap girls. But if this app drives anything home, is how important it is to stay diligent about your social media privacy settings, as, in theory at least, it is much harder for someone trying to app-stalk you to see much from your Facebook link if your Facebook is properly privatized. And the Girls Around Me app may have disappeared from the market, but it certainly won’t be long until another similar app pops up.