Gwnewch y pethau bychain

When Memes Go Bad…

So the big buzz today is how the person who put together the “Secret Crush” meme is now offering to reveal the contents of zir database for a mere $4:

Who has a crush on autographedcat?
The below numbers indicate what sorta crushes autographedcat‘s friends have on him, as taken from the results of the original LJ Secret Crush Meme.
Questions? Please read the FAQ.
2 people have a Secret Crush on autographedcat.
3 people have a Public Crush on autographedcat.
1 people have an Ex-Crush on autographedcat.

How many people have a crush on you?

As I’ve commented elsewhere, I’m not entirely sure whether to be amused or disgusted. On the one hand, the person didn’t disclose when they collected this information that they would offer to release it to third parties. In fact, I don’t even recall if they indicated that the information would be stored. So there’s a certain amount of justification to feeling that somehow this person is doing something a bit underhanded to raise cash. And their FAQ makes them out to be a complete prat.

On the other hand, I just can’t quite manage to get all up in arms about it. I mean, when I took the meme in the first place, I didn’t really take it very seriously — no more than “What LOTR Character are you?” — and I don’t think anyone else did either. Anyone who’s really upset that this info might get disseminated needs a quick tutorial in “Not Giving Personal Information To Anonymous Parties On The Internet.”

So yeah, it’s wrong. But it’s wrong in a very small potatoes kind of way. I doubt if there’s enough low-self-esteem casualties desperate enough to pay for the names of their “secret crushes” to make the guy more than about a hundred bucks, so I don’t see any reason to expend too much energy in getting upset over it.

On the other hand, I admit that I am *curious* who the folks who listed me are. (Hey, i’m just as shallow as the next person! *G*) Don’t think I’m curious enough to spend four bucks, though. So let me know if you wanna.

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10 Comments

  1. Cool. Now, for only $4.00 US, (I presume) you to can have yourself blackmailed by an adolescent mind. This information revolution is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?Does this site have a “privacy policy”?

  2. That is pretty much exactly how I feel about it. (Except that I never did the meme, so I have nothing to lose personally.) Yeah, I’m a little curious, but now that I’ve read his FAQ, I’m sure not going to pay him to find out. (Wouldn’t spend $4 anyway.)

  3. You know … the longer I think about it, the more upset I get. Yeah -- I laughed at first. I mean, for *us* it’s just … fun, as you say it, most of us certainly don’t take such a quiz thingie more serious than the LOTR character quiz -- and when we look at our friends list and wonder who the crushing persons are we can be pretty sure that they are people we’ve been (fun-) flirting with anyway (at least that’s what *I* think *g*) … but then I remembered that there’s lots and lots of teenagers on LJ. And if I think that some of them might be in tears now, afraid that someone finds out their secret crushes, or that there are jealousy dramas happening, with girls looking up “their boys” crush stats (yeah, women can be like that *g*) -- I get pretty much angry at that person who thinks he can store other people’s data and use it in such a cheap way. And truth is, to publicly list a LJ name is almost as effective as listing the email-adress -- you do get to people! Bleh. Just to think of the fact that the guy *will* make money with it! I don’t agree with you on him not getting much money, I’m pretty sure he will -- look at how many LJs there are. People are curious (myself included -- but I can restrain myself *g*), and when it comes to crushes they can get outright foolish. So … well … *growlGROWL* *grumble* … before this gets too long, I shut up already. Not that there’s much to do about it anyway *sighgrin* Heh. Feeling better 😉
    (oh … and *smoooooch*, just cuz … I didn’t fill in the meme, but if I had, I just *might* have listed you as crush :))

  4. If I’d done the meme, I’d be in the public column. 🙂

  5. I’m pretty sure I put you down as a public crush. If I didn’t, I should have. Heh.

  6. TTBOMK so far 3, maybe 4 people on my friends list have mentioned paying for the information. Granted this is not a representative sample, but my friends list is about 130 people (now) and there were over 20,000 people who did the crush thing. If that percentage plays out, and it might, the person doing this could get between $1600 and $2200 or so.

    More disturbing is that whoever it is offers to give out who has crushes on *any* LJer who participated for $4. That might net the sleaze some money too.

    • I can see another possibility. OK, so I have a nasty, paranoid and twisted mind, but who is to say that the information he gives out is even accurate? UK law has the Data Protection Act which says that you can get at the information held on you and change it if wrong (OK, theoretically, it’s not always that easy in practice), but this kid won’t be registered under that. So what if the information sold is invented and intended to cause trouble (could be done by reading many of the LJ entries, see who is and isn’t friendly with whom).

      Not that I did the survey anyway, I don’t do most memes, but I can see all sorts of ways of causing trouble…

  7. I was boggled to find that I have 6 people who have a secret crush on me. But none of the others.

    I mean, I never did the original, hadn’t even looked at it ’til now.

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