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Pikinis for iOS: On Rating Bikini Photos, Madison Andrews Comments

anewdomain.net –Facebook announced its zero-tolerance policy on hate speech against women this week. What better time for Six4Three to launch its new Pikinis for iOS app? 

Pikinis for iOS takes the hassle out of stalking, gawking and generally being creepy. Rather than going all the way to a beach, you just search for photos of bikini-clad Facebook girls and boys from the comfort of your own home.

Here are a few screenshots of all the wonderful things Pikinis has to offer:

pikinis

Image credit: Six4Three

I tried to speak with a rep directly, but instead Ted Kramer, managing director of the firm, directed me to a press packet.

As for all you strident, shrill and otherwise opinionated feminists out there — calm yourselves. Pikinis is an equal-opportunity platform for privacy invasion. According to the packet:

Pikinis is for everyone. Men and women (all are able) to enjoy Pikinis. Pikinis is a great place for anyone who wants to follow and enjoy their friends’ summer photos.”

See? It’s not just for bros and boys clubs. Girls are allowed, too. Especially if you’re a girl who likes random strangers checking out your bikini shots.

My advice: If you do plan to document an upcoming trip to the shore on Facebook, review your privacy settings first. Note that, according to reps, “Pikinis mirrors your Facebook privacy settings. Whatever your friends can see on Facebook, they can see on Pikinis. Whatever you cannot see on Facebook, you also cannot see on Pikinis.”

But the app also allows you to search for swimsuit pics of people outside your approved list of Facebook friends, which means that if an image is public, it’s fair game for Pikinis for iOS app users.

The sad thing is that Six4Three has some really interesting computer vision tech software at its disposal. Software that could potentially be used to protect women — or even find predators.

Here’s an inspiring excerpt from the packet:

Six4Three believes the field of computer vision has the potential to offer numerous disruptive capabilities to the consumer and enterprise software industries that have not been explored systematically to date. In short, computer vision holds immense promise for improving our interactions over the web and on our phones. The team here at Six4Three is at the forefront of exploring that promise.”

If this is the forefront of computer vision technology, I shudder to think what’s in store for us in years to come. The press packet makes no mention of the minimum age requirement for inclusion in the app.

Pikinis’ developers should seriously consider implementing something in that vein or risk being faced with angry parents of young teens. Or worse — a lawsuit.

For aNewDomain.net commentary, I’m Madison Andrews.

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  • tyleradurden7

    All in all this seems pretty tame…at every level.
    Compared to the vile stuff readily available online should we really be that
    outraged. If you’re prudish shouldn’t you be more offended by what’s on Tumblr? Several years ago four of the top 10 subdomains on the
    site were pornographic, which undoubtedly fueled the site’s growth. As
    embarrassing as this fact is it didn’t deter Yahoo. T&A sells. You know
    that. They know that. It always has. It always will. That trend is here to
    stay. Unless you have an app that reconfigures human desire.

    • Paul Bonner

      There’s a huge difference between this leering little app and the largely anonymous porn you can find in every other corner of the web. The objects of desire Pikinis presents are not obscure — they’re Facebook “friends” (or friends of friends, or the public) — and they’re identified by full name in the case of “friends” and by first name and hometown in the case of more chicks to ogle.

      That would be find if every Facebook user fully understood its privacy controls and they’re importance, but how really do. Do the 7 million Facebook users under the age of 13 give privacy settings a lot of thought? Or the tens of millions of high school age users? And moreover, how does a the Facebook privacy setting on the photo of, for example, a 14 year old can’t enter into a legally-binding agreement for another four years, grant any commercial firm the right to profit from harvesting that photo and presenting to an audience of lusting app users?

      Still, what’s the harm? For the most part, this app will be used for the usual puerile adolescent pursuits, and those have been with us forever.

      Of course, it should also be a good source of material for online bullies who want to embarrass or mock a less popular kid. And it’ll be excellent source material for creepy stalkers of all age — armed with a picture, a first name, and a hometown, it would be child’s play to use a combination of image search, text search, and the well-named Creepy application for Linux and Windows, to determine the name, address, and social media ID of just about anyone whose photo turns up in Pikini.

      Of course, there’s no guarantee that Pikinis will ever lead to a rape or kidnapping or suicide or school shooting — let’s call them mere possibilities. But it’s damn certain that the app’s audience will employ it for purposes much broader than the all in good fun, catching up with your friends activities that it purports to be for.

      • hendog

        I was thinking — do a search on Facebook bikini — without this app you already see the stuff. I would not come down so hard on it. Think of the audience. There is an excellent point in the article about the technology within being usable for other purposes — but for what it is, it seems like there’s a lot worse out there — ie on Tumblr.

        • Paul Bonner

          Yes, worse on Tumblr. Worse on 100,000 other sites too. But to focus on that is to miss the point. When one seeks out porn from those sources, one can be reasonably sure that in the vast majority of cases, the actors involved are of legal age. Have been paid for their efforts. Have signed a legally binding release. Moreover, it would be extremely surprising to discover your neighbor’s picture on any of those sites.

          In contrast, Pikinis is specifically intended to show you pictures of your neighbor. Your cousin. Your wife’s best friend. Your daughter’s classmates.

          Pikinis’ content may not be as overtly pornographic, but its trampling of

    • Madison Andrews

      tyleradurden7 I agree, the actual content in this app is quite tame. I don’t think it’s really comparable to pornography. As Paul Bonner pointed out — for the most part, those who participate in porn are consenting adults. I have no interest in debating the moral inferiority of what is essentially fiction. Art. Make believe.

      What I find disturbing is that this a thinly veiled attempt to capitalize on the objectification of real women — and men — who actually exist. Most adults and teenagers are painfully aware of the risks involved with sharing anything on Facebook, as it’s proven time and again to care little about protecting and informing its users. People who understand the pitfalls but still enjoy sharing beach photos probably won’t mind being admired in an app, either. And bully for them.

      But what about 15 year-olds? 13 year-olds? 9 year-olds? Where does it end, and how much privacy invasion are we willing to ignore simply because we are desensitized by every app, social platform and cloud-based network with access to our information? And let’s say Pikinis is actually intended for tweenish users — even if 95 percent of the people who use this crap are kids: does that make it any less dangerous? Any less of a target for criminals and pedophiles who could use it as a handy little catalogue of potential victims?

      I know, I know. That’s outlandish. Probably won’t happen. But the question, “eh, what’s the worst that could happen?” is probably the single greatest threat to our collective security. Neither enterprise nor government is going to get serious about protecting our rights unless we — as consumers and constituents — care more about the outlandish what-if scenarios.

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