Why PleaseRobMe.com isn't going to cause a spate of FourSquare robberies

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Some fuss in the blogosphere over site pleaserobme.com, a website that cunningly collects public Foursquare alerts saying that someone has just left home and puts them in one column, with links, under the title “please rob me”. The implication being that as soon as a burglar checking your FourSquare account finds you’ve arrived in the coffee shop next to your office at 9.25am, he’s going to break into your house and rob you good and you deserved it cause you posted geotagged status updates, you cyberfool.


Okay, catchy url dear, but the premise of pleaserobme is kind of ruined by the fact that most people do leave the house during the day and most robbers know that without having to check FourSquare or any other social networking site for that matter. Chuck in the fact that most people have regular jobs with set hours that take them out of the house in a routine way and we’re back to the same old problem. People can definitely try to rob your house when it’s empty – just get some decent locks and an alarm system.

A hitman however – that’s different – if you’ve ever crossed the KGB or had some run-ins with Colombian drug smugglers, I advise you strongly to use a pseudonym on FourSquare, something like “totallynormalaverageguy”. That should fool them.

Still we agree that pleaserobme.com have raised a fair point about tagging your house as a location on Twitter or Foursquare, shall we say as a few rules of thumb:
1. Don’t post your home address on FourSquare, Twitter or anywhere public on the internet.
2. Don’t let your friends do it either.
3. Buy a Doberman.

If you post that you’ve just gone out on holiday and forgotten to lock the back door in your house in xxx – you do deserve what’s coming to you.

Related: FourSquare iPhone app hits London – but what is it good for?

Anna Leach