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(Written by my friend Rachel, reposted with permission so more people will know the truth)
So I have been thinking about this for a while. Really, ever since I saw that myspace trackers (supposedly) exist. Why do we feel the need to know about every single person who visits our page? Why do we even care? What do we think we are going to accomplish by gaining this information?
I’m sure some people want to see if their (ex-) girlfriend/boyfriend is looking at their page, in case they need to be obsessive about it. Although, why getting (or thinking that you may be getting) one up on your ex because they happened upon your page is a little ridiculous. Having said that, I imagine I might feel the same way if I had had the technology available. Is it just to laugh at your ex and how much you’re supposedly over them because you don’t visit their myspace page (or if you do, it’s from someone else’s computer)? Maybe you want to see if someone you were having an argument with still looked at your page. Maybe you wanted to see if your ex’s new flame was looking at your page. Or maybe you’re a scary serial killer who wants to check out his or her next victim. I don’t believe all this “I get bored”, “it’s just entertainment”, “I just get curious”, “everyone else has one, I want one too” stuff. Think about it. Why is it really important to you to see who looks at your page?
Is it not just a little bit stalkerish? I’m sure you don’t keep track of everyone who walks past your house in a given day, or peer into the windows of someone you thought might have glanced at you in a mall. I highly doubt it. So why do you want to know about every single person who views your webpage? Sure, it might be fun to add someone you know had been viewing your myspace but really. Creepy much? If you knew you had been looking at someones webpage you thought was kinda cool then they added you., well, wouldn’t you think that was a little odd? And, of course, you know that they had a tracker and saw you were on their page 20 times a day, especially if that person is someone who deleted you previously. I’ve been in this position, in case you were wondering.
Now for the real reason that I’m posting this blog. These supposed trackers are actually incredibly convincing tools for spying on you. Had you ever thought to read the fine print on these trackers? Or even if there was any fine print? These alleged “free trackers” are not going to give you something for nothing, of that I can assure you. And from some research done today, I can say that this theory was proven right. Trackers sent out as lovely bulletins often lure you in to signing up for their trackers and downloading a program; what you are actually doing is allowing the site to install a nasty adware program on to your computer which, in layman’s terms, will screw it the fuck up.
And if you are one of the lucky few not to be hit with such a blow? The website with which you registered is not going to give you something for free. They are most likely cashing in on this craze with companies who can see exactly what you search for and what pages you are visiting. Others will use the information that you voluntarily provide them for purposes of identity theft and targeted attacks on your computer. People are even selling trackers on internet auction sites which may or may not be blocked by myspace anyway. So you would be paying for a service that allows people to gain access to your personal information, attack your computer, steal your identity and send your viruses. Oh, and not not to mention, you can’t even see who visits your profile because after a few weeks/months it will just be blocked anyway.
In addition to all of this, these sites go to great lengths to hide who they are. Try searching for them through a site like netsol.com and see what you come up with. With the exception of one or two, each and every myspace tracker site hides their identity. Which begs the question: why? Why hide who you are if you are merely providing a free, safe and legal program to users of a social networking site? That says a lot about the site to which you chose to provide your information. Remember, these are the people that are potentially gaining access to your personal information.
Have you ever wondered that it’s actually quite scary? Or how many hours you are spending checking and refreshing your amazing tracker to see who may be checking out your profile? Or how much personal information you are providing to the world? These links that you click on are no less harmful than viruses sent via email. And most people would not think of opening an email from an unknown sender for just that reason. So why download code, search for scripts and feed your obsession for stalkerism by getting tracker after tracker when you are compromising your personal safety?
Use your head. If you really really must use a myspace tracker, think about a few things before you do: why do you feel the need to spy on everyone who comes to your page? What are the potential risks to your and your computer? What is this really going to accomplish? Why are you allowing a site your myspace log-in details [as some trackers ask you for your myspace email and the password you used to sign up to it]? Why are you walking into something so blindly without thinking to question any possible implications?
And no, myspace is not going to put in profile trackers any time soon. Why? Because it is quite frankly creepy and stalkerish.
[To be continued]