A new app is looking to revive one of the creepiest Instagram features ever made and encouraging people to spy or we should say stalk on their loved ones via social media. Critics are making allegations that this is app resembles stalker ware.
Earlier this October, Instagram got rid of its “Following” tab, which used to let us know what posts and accounts our friends were interacting with. It would let you know whose posts they liked and what comments they left on other people’s feeds. This specific tab was famous among the users as a “stalking tab”.
Launched silently on Apple’s App Store in July, Like Patrol app doesn’t just want to revive social media surveillance; it wants to take it to a whole another level. “Think the defunct ‘Following’ Tab, on steroids,” Sergio Luis Quintero, the app’s founder, said in an email.
It won’t be around much longer, Instagram said because Like Patrol’s developers were violating the privacy rules, we’ve sent a cease-and-desist letter to the company. Instagram has always dealt with those who don’t care about people’s data and use it without their consent.
“Scraping violates our policies, and we take action against companies who we find to be engaging in it. Like Patrol was scraping people’s data, so we are taking appropriate enforcement action against them,” one of Facebook’s spokesperson said.
Like Patrol is just one of those apps that represent with the help of technology you can stalk others and that too with ease. Apps like these are often referred to as Stalker ware apps and are often used in abusive relationships. These apps let you track and send location data, call logs, contacts, and messages to trackers. As of now, Like Patrol isn’t exactly what we call a Stalker ware, but it is on its way of becoming one. As it encourages people to use technology to closely monitor a person’s media activities.
Facebook, on the other hand, has banned Like Patrol from Facebook and Instagram and is planning on reviewing other apps from the same developer.
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Instagram didn’t invent spying on your significant other, but its Following Tab, which started as a feature in 2011, helped normalize it, said Jennifer Grygiel, an assistant professor at Syracuse University who studies social media.
Instagram hadn’t just removed the Following tab but it also took away data points that Like Patrol app relied on. In response to that, Quintero said an algorithm has been developed to navigate through Instagram and the people you follow, scraping data from their likes and comments and organizing it in one place.
The app is mainly focused on earning maximum profits off of people’s insecurities, by charging subscription fees for the service so people can continue spying on Instagram. For a weekly subscription, users are prompted to pay $2.99 and you have to pay $80 for a year-long plan and is said to be having only 300 users signed up.