For those of you that have not experienced the takethislollipop.com viral campaign, you may want to try it if you want to understand the concentrate of this article, providing you’re not easily scared. You can try it by going to www.takethislollipop.com, and yes you DO need a Facebook account. Essentially the site takes the visitor on a more interactive Facebook experience in that the site uses a Facebook application to create a short video – starring YOU.
So okay – what does that actually mean? Visitors to the site are at first prompted to connect with Facebook. Upon doing so, a standard Facebook application confirmation box appears confirming that you would like to share your Facebook account with the takethislollipop.com Facebook application. It’s okay – often applications can be malicious, especially if they use external websites to try and get you to install them – but rest assured this application is perfectly safe, even if it does want access to pretty much every corner of your Facebook account.
Once you grant the application access, the video begins. With obvious high production value, the video begins with a dirtied man in an even dirtier room logging into Facebook. Sounds innocuous enough, right? Well that’s until the man goes straight to YOUR Facebook account, and starts searching through YOUR wall posts, and going through YOUR Facebook photos, even photos that you have made private! The video culminates in the man driving his car with a photo of YOU on his dashboard!
Takethislollipop.com is, from what we can tell, the first site that actually provides this unique interactive feature even though the technology has most likely been around for a while, but because of its viral success, it certainly will not be the last – most likely opening the flood gates for thousands of other videos trying to capitalise on this viral sensation.
Whilst describing the video, it is incredibly difficult to convey how one feels when watching it, which is why we implore all those lacking a nervous disposition to not only watch it, but to experience it. It is difficult to express in words that even when you are fully aware that this is nothing more than clever video, the feelings one gets when you watch someone else looking at your Facebook account, at YOUR posts, at YOUR photos – the sense of privacy invasion even though no invasion has actually taken place. You are watching a video of someone watching you, and even though it is nothing more than clever trickery, the feelings it induces are extraordinarily real.
And this leads us to the point of the article – that even though it is nothing more than clever effects created by clever minds, the subject matter is genuine. Facebook stalkers and “hackers” do exist, albeit in less “Hollywoodised” fashion, and being careless with your Facebook account can lead to this video becoming a reality. Takethislollipop.com actually reaches out to Facebook viewers in a way that warnings, alerts and articles from us and other anti-scam websites can never do – it shows a Facebook viewer exactly what happens if their account gets compromised – THEIR account, not a non-specific description of what could happen – since the Facebook viewer gets their own unique video with them as the star, and it really does hits home. It helps a Facebook user realise that their Facebook account is not just for harmless, innocent fun, but is actually an important account detailing their most private information. It helps a Facebook user understand how they would feel if their account was ever taken over by somebody else. It should also serve as a reminder to parents that making sure their children use Facebook responsibly is paramount.
So enjoy the site and the experience under the knowledge it’s perfectly safe, but at the same time understand the lesson to be learned – that this is not like a sci-fi movie that will never come true. Facebook accounts get compromised every day, and if you’re careless with your account security then this video will quickly turn into reality and next time you won’t get the benefit of watching it all unfold on video.
[[Let us know what you think of the site. Did it scare you?]]