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Gawker Stalker: Google Maps + Celebrity Sightings.

April 4th, 2006 · No Comments

I read Gawker regularly (good celeb fluff), one of the many blogs in the Gawker Media Network (which includes Gizmodo, Wonkette, Defamer & Kotaku). My favorite piece is the regular Gawker Stalker entry, that runs through the most interesting celebrity sightings of the past week as shared by readers of the site.

Recently, Gawker introduced a new version of Gawker Stalker that integrates this idea with the Google Maps API, placing the celeb sighting location on a map, complete with time of day, (stock) photo of the person, and anecdotes. I love seeing this kind of technology mashup, but does this one go too far? I happened to flip to Headline News the other day to see Hulk Hogan and his family being interviewed. The interviewer mentioned the Gawker Stalker site to the Hogans to ask their opinion of it. They launched the site on-air to show them a user-submitted entry about the Hogans leaving a restaurant earlier that morning. Part of Hogan’s reaction:

ANDERSON: Doing well, thank you. Now did you know, we`ve been talking this during the show. The Gawker Stalker web site. You guys, Hulk, you and Brooke, were actually posted on the site, seen leaving a restaurant. Here it is. We`re going to put it up here. There you were on the right.
H. HOGAN: Wow.
ANDERSON: Seen leaving a restaurant yesterday.
H. HOGAN: Late this morning.
ANDERSON: Many people are concerned about their safety, their family`s safety when something like this happens. What do you think about it?H. HOGAN: Well, I`ve always been kind of on the side of the paparazzi. Because I thought they helped the celebrities. And I thought the celebrities were cunning enough to play cat and mouse and use it, you know, to their positive side. But I think now we`ve crossed the line, in that when safety becomes a factor. And such as if my son Nick or my daughter Brooke. They see them out and they`re alone. I mean, there`s all kind of weird things that could happen. So I think the line has been crossed now. And I think this is not a good thing.
ANDERSON: People obviously aren`t going to mess with you, Hulk, out there. But your family.
H. HOGAN: Well, that`s my main concern. As soon as you guys told me today that we were on the web site. And I`m sure they have posted us now here at CNN, the whole family.
L. HOGAN: We`re here.
H. HOGAN: Yes, we`re here. Hey, guys. But I mean, it just — it just makes me realize that this is happening.
ANDERSON: A little scary.

Full Transcript here.
Should celebrities expect & accept this kind of visibility?

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Tags: Archived from Blogger · Culture · News